Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
Like brown eyes, a learning disability is what a child has, not who she is. Children with LD are of at least average intelligence. They belong to Scouts, ride bikes and like to do things with family and friends. Just like other children, they go to summer camp, take swimming lessons and participate in art shows or children’s theater. Next time you are at a gathering of students, whether at a choral concert, the school carnival or arrival time at school, look around. Students with a learning disability look like everyone else! If you are a parent of a child with LD, you already know this!
Parents of children with learning disabilities have typically heard numerous hurtful remarks from educators or family members who are trying to help their children. My husband and I were asked, at a school meeting, if we ever read to our sons! Parents and students are told that the reason there is struggle in school is because the students lack motivation, are lazy or have a bad attitude. Sometimes there is a suggestion that parents are somehow failing to provide the right environment at home. The student spends too much time with video games and sports, or parents are too lenient with the rules. As a parent or student, you have your own list of uninformed or hurtful comments that you have heard.
To celebrate Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, follow the example of the students in Adventures in Summer Learning here at Springer. On a piece of paper, write the negative or hurtful comments that have been made to you or your child. Get a shovel, go outside, dig a hole and bury those statements! Have a funeral for those hurtful remarks and put them to rest. Then, if you can, practice forgiveness. Get up every day and continue what you have been doing all along – nurturing, guiding and advocating for your child who may have brown eyes and a learning disability.
Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues.