Every parent has heard the words, “I don’t want to go to school,” from their child. As a parent or guardian of a child with learning disabilities, you might hear this phrase more frequently. However, what happens when it continues, and it is clear your child is struggling at school?
What can be done to help?
Four steps to take to support your child
These situations often require a delicate approach. You should:
- Listen to your child: Do not make assumptions when your child starts to complain. As Child Mind Institute points out, a learning disability can make children suffer from anxiety, emotional stress and low self-esteem. It will help to sit down with your child, hear them out and make sure they know you are there to support them.
- Determine the reason: Is your child avoiding school and schoolwork for reasons related to their disability? This is often a possibility, since children with disabilities may avoid homework simply to avoid the frustration, struggle or shame they may feel. However, there may be external factors influencing their avoidance as well. Is your child struggling with a bully at school? Make sure to keep an open line of communication with school staff.
- Make use of resources: The resources available to you in California could fall into many categories. Perhaps your child would benefit from mental health counseling. Or, if they are falling behind in school, you could seek tutoring for them. Many of these could fall under the related services provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You can also seek accommodations to ease your child’s anxiety related to school.
- Focus on strengths: Concentrating on your child’s strengths is a common tip when it comes to supporting a child with a learning disability. Helping them focus on their passions and strengths can help them feel more confident in themselves. In turn, this can help them feel as if they can overcome the obstacles they may face at school.
Your child may wish to avoid school for many reasons, but you have the resources to help your child through these struggles and support them.