Understanding Social Stigma of Learning Disabilities
Currently there is a stigma surrounding learning difficulties that is preventing many people from getting help for their learning difficulties. Kids are especially afraid to come forward about learning difficulties because of the stigma associated with a learning disability. Lack of awareness concerning dyslexia contributes to the stigma and is usually the main cause of this social taboo. When children are frightened of coming forward with these feelings they won’t speak to their teachers or parents.
Just because kids are afraid of coming to school and talking about their dyslexia doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem. Dyslexia is a language processing and reading disability that affects almost half of all children. It can greatly affect their ability to learn and therefore their grades. Once their teacher finds out that your child has dyslexia, you are left with the tough decision of either isolating them from other children or letting them go back to school. It’s not an easy decision and it can often make it difficult for parents to know how to approach the situation. The best thing you can do is to get your children help to resolve their behavior, explain the issues to the teacher, and work to get their reading and writing abilities back to normal. If you find it difficult to discuss the treatment options with your child then you may have to get professional help and access some solutions that can help you choose the best therapy that is right for your child. Below are a few strategies that can help with dealing with issues related to dyslexia.
Have access to one on one help. This is especially important for children who are in a group learning environment. If they are in a class with many children who are being diagnosed with dyslexia, they might be wondering what their learning difficulties are and if they should come forward about their own learning difficulties. Often it’s best to have all of your children together so they can see how everyone else deals with their learning difficulties. Sometimes you may also be able to get the help of a working teacher or aide in the group in order to reduce anxiety or anxiety around learning difficulties.
Telling your teacher about your child’s learning difficulties often goes unnoticed or unappreciated. A child may say they are struggling with math or language, but the teacher might not want to hear about it or the student may be afraid to come forward. If you are fortunate enough to get the support of your child’s teacher then you can make them feel comfortable sharing their child’s dyslexia with their teacher.
Changing your child’s self-image can often make all the difference. Children with learning difficulties often have low self-esteem because their grades are lower. It is important for the child to know that their struggles are temporary and that they are strong enough to do well in whatever they are doing. If they don’t know this, they often won’t feel comfortable talking about their difficulties and may give up on their learning or go to school and hide their dyslexia from their teacher.
Alert teachers as soon as possible to your child’s learning difficulties.
If your child starts to struggle with reading and writing then it is important that you begin to identify the problem as soon as possible. The sooner you can spot it the better and the sooner you are able to get support for your child. Talk to your child as soon as possible and find out about what books they are reading and what they are writing in class. If you suspect your child might have a learning difficulty the teacher should take note of this and will be able to better understand the issues and how to proceed.
The truth is that talking to your child about the problem you find yourself having and letting them know that they can’t hide their learning difficulties from you is the only way to defeat the social stigma of dyslexia. If you try to hide your child’s learning difficulties from them then they are likely to be worried that you are going to push them out of school. Keep in mind that not all students with dyslexia are reading below grade level so it is not the end of the world if your child doesn’t have above average reading or writing skills. Once your child can learn to come forward about their problems and help themselves overcome them then you will have a much easier time getting the support and therapy you need.
Holly Korbey is a New York-based Reiki Master and the founder of Reiki Life. She has been practicing Reiki for over 20 years and has over 100 years of experience in life coaching, personal development, business and executive coaching.