I'm Worried My 7-Year-Old Son May Have a Learning Disability, but I Don't Know How to Manage It: Please Help!

I’m Worried My 7-Year-Old Son May Have a Learning Disability, but I Don’t Know How to Manage It: Please Help!

A mom writes in with a concern about her 7-year-old son, whom she worries may have a learning disability. She says her husband ignores the obvious problems, and she doesn’t know where to turn for help or advice.

Walter Rhein, a father-of-two with teaching licenses in English and Physics, weighs in with some advice.

A Mamas Uncut fan asks:

“I think my son, age 7, might have a learning disability. My husband ignores it but I know he’s having a hard time at school. How should I talk to his teachers about it, I don’t want to make school harder for him? But I feel like I am failing him!”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Advice from Walter Rhein

If you notice that your child is struggling at school, the right choice for a parent is to get involved and help put your child on a path to success as quickly as possible. Any action the parent takes will assist in making the child’s educational experience easier and less frustrating.

One of the responsibilities of your child’s teachers and your pediatrician is to identify whether your child has any learning disabilities. Whenever you go in for a yearly check up your pediatrician should ask you if you have any questions or concerns. Pediatricians rely on the observations of parents, and they will be happy to make a formal evaluation at your request.

Children find success in education when they are engaged and interested in the subject matter. Today it is much more common for teachers to tailor an individual learning plan (or ILP) that is designed to cater to the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Proper engagement allows your child to discover how education can be fun and lets them take greater control over their educational objectives. An ILP is also sometimes appropriate for children who are more advanced than the rest of their classmates.

There are many reasons that might lead to a child struggling in his or her education. Undiagnosed vision or hearing issues can lead to struggles. Children also might be dealing with bullying or a personality conflict with their educator. No matter what the issue, it is in the best interests of the child that the parents get involved to help diagnose the problem and seek a solution.

There should always be a clear line of communication between parents and teachers. If your child is struggling in class, first, take some time to observe how your child is affected. Then, discuss the issue with your child. Finally, approach your child’s teacher with an email or a phone call detailing your concerns. With the guidance of parents and teachers, all children can embrace the kind of educational experience that allows them to achieve their full potential.

[Images via Shutterstock.]

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