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A Parent's Responsibility to Children With Learning Disabilities

by Victoria Thompson

No two children are the same. Each has his own qualities that makes him special. Having a child diagnosed with a learning disability can be a daunting and challenging realization for a parent. After all, each parent wants what's best for her child and is responsible for providing him with the best education possible to create a successful future. With lots of love and guidance, each child has a chance to achieve his goals.

Communicate With Educators

Each child has strengths and talents, no matter the disability. It is the parent's responsibility to provide information to educators concerning learning style, personality traits and the child's personal preferences. Maintaining constant contact with educators helps parents form a partnership that encourages open communication. Communication need not be formal. It could include a daily or weekly note, stating progress. This update lets the parent know which skills she can emphasize at home, to support learning happening at school.

Participate in the IEP Process

The parent has a direct responsibility in planning the education of her child. An individualized education plan is formed to ensure that each child is taught appropriately, keeping specific needs and goals in mind. It is important that the parent is knowledgeable of the educational jargon used in the meetings to understand the complete significance of the IEP goals. She should question anything not understood and not agree to or sign anything without full understanding. The parent should keep copies of the IEP and refer to it regularly. She has the right to ask for revisions to the process if she feels that the plan is not supportive of her child's learning.

Help Develop Self-confidence

Do not allow your child to focus on her weaknesses. Have a discussion about what she does well and even form a list. Work on activities or hobbies that your child excels in, so that she can feel successful. When a child struggles in school, she can doubt herself and feel withdrawn. Encourage her to talk with others who have similar challenges so she knows that she is not alone.

Encourage Healthy Lifestyle

To have full concentration, a child needs plenty of sleep, a balanced diet and adequate exercise, advises Gina Kemp, M.A., of HelpGuide.org. Depleting your body of sleep makes learning difficult. Children require more sleep than adults, requiring eight hours and more, depending on age. Start your child's day with breakfast and keep his body moving through exercise to boost his mood and create energy for the learning process.

About the Author

Based in North Carolina, Victoria Thompson has taught middle school for the past 15 years. She holds a Masters of Education in middle school instruction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches English daily to English as a second language students.

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