According to Child Mind Institute, it is common for children with learning disabilities to experience emotional struggles as well. They often feel frustrated, especially when it seems other kids do not struggle. For example, a child with dyslexia might feel self-conscious among their peers, and also worry excessively about taking tests or doing schoolwork. This consistent frustration can lead children to experience:
- Mental and emotional distress
- Symptoms of anxiety or depression
- Feelings of low self-esteem and loneliness
It is important to watch out for the signs of mental health issues in children. Younger children are not often able to articulate struggles they have with mental health – or learning, for that matter. Your child might act out or withdraw at home or at school. In these cases, you should consider seeking help to address your child’s mental health.
What can parents do?
Parents play an important role in supporting their child’s learning needs, but also their emotional needs. Especially when your child is young, you are their advocate. So, what can you do to help? It is beneficial to:
- Obtain an individualized education program (IEP): IEPs can tailor education to your child’s needs. They might mean children receive extra help or accommodations to help them learn.
- Help children understand the situation: Young children often do not understand the details and nuances of a learning disability. They might assume they are not intelligent, simply because they learn differently. It can help to help them truly understand the learning disability and affirm that there is nothing wrong with them.
- Reassure children: It may seem small, but reassuring children that you love them and supporting them in words and actions can go a long way. When children feel supported, they often feel more confident in themselves and their abilities.
Providing children with the support they need can help them in both their education and their personal lives. And when California parents advocate for their children and support them, they can teach children to advocate for themselves as they grow.