When Your Child is Special
My daughter is extraordinary in my eyes. She is kind, funny, determined and loving. In society’s eyes though she is labeled as special because she has a learning difference. She does not fit the norm in the classroom, so from second grade, she has been part of the special education program.
Kate’s second grade teacher noticed a few things that are characteristic of a child with ADD. We wanted to say the teacher just didn’t have much patience, but we saw some of the same things at home. As a teacher myself, I knew that it was important to put in place a support plan for Kate to help her to be successful. Many parents do not know what to look for, or what to do if their child is struggling socially or academically. Here is a list that may mean it is time to have a child tested. Of course everyone should check with the doctor for an actual diagnosis.
Common signs that a person may have learning disabilities include the following:
- Problems reading and/or writing
- Problems with math
- Poor memory
- Problems paying attention
- Trouble following directions
- Trouble telling time
- Problems staying organized1
A child with a learning disability also may have one or more of the following:
- Acting without really thinking about possible outcomes (impulsiveness)
- “Acting out” in school or social situations
- Difficulty staying focused; being easily distracted
- Difficulty saying a word correctly out loud or expressing thoughts
- Problems with school performance from week to week or day to day
- Speaking like a younger child; using short, simple phrases; or leaving out words in sentences
- Having a hard time listening
- Problems dealing with changes in schedule or situations
- Problems understanding words or concepts
A doctor can talk to you about options and help you to find the right professional to do testing.
Once you know that your child has a learning disability, there are several layers of support that you can offer. Here are some ideas that may help.
Be your child’s advocate