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Learning Disabilities: How to be an Advocate for Your Child

By: Krystle Crossman

Being an advocate for your child is an extremely important when they have a learning disability. They need your support and your help to learn how to manage the disability without letting it run their lives. Start early and make sure that you follow through with your support so they know that you are there for them. Here are a few ways that you can help:

1. When a child has a learning disability they will benefit greatly if you can show them how to retain information that they have learned. Make up a rhyme with them to remember information, or replace the words in a song. Have them repeat things such as the names of classmates or friends so that they remember their names. Give them different tools to help their specific needs.

2. Life can be messy. There are times when children are disorganized and misplace things. When this happens, help them to get organized. They find it hard to learn when they are too busy thinking about where they left their favorite toy or where they have placed their pencils. Make clear and consistent guidelines for them so that they can stay organized. You can make a calendar so they have a visual of what is coming up on their schedule. You can also make a chore chart so they can keep track of what needs to be done that day.

3. You are going to need to keep things consistent in the home as well. Make sure that you are helping them with learning at home as well. Some great ways to do this are:

a. Keeping a routine and sticking to it.
b. Set out their clothes and school supplies the night before to prepare them for the next day.
c. Make a picture schedule for your child so they can visualize what is coming up.
d. Think aloud so that they can hear your thought process.
e. Make a place in your home that is a quiet place for reading or doing homework.
f. Ask them questions and suggest some of the ways to remember the information they receive.

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