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How to Deal With Learning Disabilities or ADHD

How to Deal With Learning Disabilities or ADHD


Taken From an Article Which Appeared in the Extra section under "Healthy Times" in the Yediot Achronot newspaper, 15/3/09


In preparation for Nitzan's Annual Fundraising Day, which will take place on March 23, the association's experts offer tips for parents who have just received their child's diagnosis of a learning disability:

  • It started with your intuition - from a gut feeling or as a result of comments of acquaintances, friends or educational figures that are connected to your child's life - and now it's turned into an official diagnosis that may cause you to feel anger, disappointment, or like a failure. These feelings are common and legitimate. As time passes, the day-to-day coping will become easier. The best way is for you to stop fighting: with the child, the teacher, and with the school principal. And beating yourself up won't help the situation either.
  • Sit with your child and learn from him what he's dealing with, what's hard for him. Ask him to describe to you in words his difficulties. A child with learning disabilities needs, more than anything, your understanding and support. The transition from speaking about your child to speaking with your child is a significant junction in parent-child relations. Parents that choose to speak directly and open-heartedly with their children about the difficulties they suffer merit to understand how their children really feel. These conversations lead to a stronger connection and a less tense relationship. We're talking about forming a bond of cooperation that strengthens the child in his dealing with the daily routine.
  • Knowledge is power. Gather up-to-date and reliable information on the disability, read and learn about it in every possible manner. Learn from others' mistakes, ask questions, and gather information regarding treatments that are likely to help your child. Distinguish between facts and feelings, and don't accept everything you hear or read as absolute fact. Knowledge will enable you to ask the professionals appropriate questions and to make informed decisions.
  • Encourage your child's strengths and abilities because these are the main platform for dealing with the difficulties. Remember that your investment as parents always pays off. Your child needs large portions of support, acceptance, and unconditional love, and with the help of them he can bring out his abilities that are buried within him.
  • Set a meeting with an expert in the field and prepare for yourself questions from the beginning. Remember it's your full right to request a detailed explanation or clarification when things are said to you that are not clear enough. Stand up for your right to express your opinion regarding treatment. You have complete freedom to evaluate the options regarding the appropriate treatment for your child and to choose the way that seems best for you.
  • Find creative solutions for strengthening your child's self esteem and developing his abilities. Plan with him afternoon activities, such as sports, art, culture and free time, which are appropriate for him. Quality time and recreation together with the child are the key to making dealing with the daily difficulties easier.
  • Join a parent support group. A group like this is an excellent source for encouragement, sharing information and opinions, and putting things in proportion. You can learn in such a group what are the social and emotional difficulties your child is dealing with and to get to know a range of effective ways for dealing with the child and family at home. You can also get to know the rights of the learning disabled, which will make your interaction with the educational system easier.
  • Take care of yourself: charge up your batteries in every possible way, invest in your relationships, go out for leisure time, and find hobbies for yourself. In our to have in your hands resources to give to your child, you have to find the way first of all to take care of yourself and to avoid getting burned out.


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