I Just Found Out My Child Has LD…Now What?
If you have recently found out your child has a learning disability (LD) you are probably feeling overwhelmed with stress, information and pressure to make decisions about what’s best for your child. NCLD is here to give parents like you the resources, guidance and support you need on your child’s LD journey.
Five Things to Do
LD is not a prescription for failure. With the right support, people with LD can achieve at high levels and feel a sense of real accomplishment and satisfaction. Now that you know more about your child’s specific learning struggles, you have the opportunity to help and guide your child to success in school and life.
Understand the evaluation.
Read your child’s evaluation report carefully. Reports often use technical language that can be difficult for parents to comprehend, so don’t hesitate to ask questions of your child’s evaluation team. Fully understanding your child’s evaluation and the terms and language professionals are using will help you be a well-informed and confident participant in all decision-making regarding your child.
Talk about the evaluation with teachers and other school personnel.
It’s crucial that they understand the evaluation, too! You will be working with them and any other professionals involved in your child’s evaluation to come up with a plan that translates the findings of the report into ways that the teacher can teach and your child can learn.
Involve your child.
First, make sure your child understands that having a learning disability—such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia—does not mean he is not smart or will not be successful in school and life. Be hopeful and supportive, and tell him them that he should not be ashamed or scared about it. Next, make sure your child understands the basics of the evaluation. Successful people with LD know their strengths and weaknesses and how to ask for help when they need it. Self-advocacy skills are crucial for people with LD, and your guidance can help your child learn how to develop them.
Be an advocate for your child.
Learn about your child’s rights and keep them in mind as you work with professionals to develop a plan for your child’s education. Your child may be eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan that will help him get the support he needs in school. No child should be allowed to slip through the cracks or fall behind, even if they are currently doing well in school. Your advocacy will help ensure your child’s success now and in the future.
Remember that LD doesn’t define your child—he might struggle with specific types of learning, but just like everyone else, he has areas of strength. Helping your child to work through his challenges sets the foundation for him to enjoy learning and life. The responsibility to help your child is large and the pressure can be great, but now is the time for you to take action. You can, and when you do, your child will flourish.