Home   עברית
I would like to receive updates from Nitzan association
facebook nitzan page link
> Articles > The Virtual Friendship of Children with Learning Disabilities

The Virtual Friendship of Children with Learning Disabilities

Professor Malka Margalit from the School of Education at Tel-Aviv University and Marshall Raskind, Director of Research and Special Projects at Schwab Learning, an American foundation that aids students with learning disabilities, performed for the first time a research study that looked at virtual communities of children with learning disabilities. The study covered thousands of children that wrote to one of the sites that the foundation established for children with learning disabilities between the ages of 9-16 (www.sparktop.org might not be updated)

It turns out that the young Internet users formed personal connections and significant friendships between themselves. They valued the discussion groups, which protected their anonymity and privacy in a "safe area", allowing them complete openness and the opportunity to describe the personal meaning of their disability and the challenges they have to face.

The important role of the discussion groups was proven especially in difficult moments. Children that wrote on the site, "I don't have any friends", "Nobody understands how hard it is for me", or "I'm hopeless", received immediately several responses from other children with learning disabilities who expressed understanding of the difficult situation, support, and friendship.

This study is very important for teachers and parents since it provides a deeper understanding of the world of the children. Currently, the researchers are conducting an additional study that analyzes letters written by parents to children with special needs. These letters reflect the difficulty of the parents, conflicts with teachers and experts, feeling of loneliness, and a true desire for cooperation with the Ministry of Education for the sake of the children.

Taken from the "Free Time" newspaper, February 2008