The Social-Emotional Side of Children with Learning Disorders

It is well known that kids with learning disabilities face academic challenges.  Academics are often the focus of interventions with these children, but it is important to also pay attention to the impact on their social-emotional development.  Read on for ways to make sure this critical aspect of your child’s development is not overlooked.

Tips to Ensure Your Child with a Learning Disability Has His or Her Needs Met:

  1. Focus on more than just academic performance.  Certainly successful performance in school is an child's socio-emotional needsimportant goal, but it is equally vital to not lose sight of qualities that set your child up for success after school: work ethic, sociability, persistence, self-awareness, and flexibility.  These are skills often taught and mastered outside of the classroom.
  2. Talk with your child about how they are feeling.  Be sure to highlight specific strengths with concrete details and examples.  It should be discussed that all people (even Moms and Dads) have weaknesses.  Research has demonstrated greater confidence for children who know their learning styles.[1]
  3. Promote social participation, independent living skills, and personal responsibility.  Whether assigning chores, encouraging involvement in a wide variety of activities, or giving your child the freedom to learn things by doing, you can help promote positive well-being.
  4. Consult with a pediatric neuropsychologist.  They can provide accurate assessment of your child’s social-emotional functioning and develop a plan for intervention.  Finding the right outside support can be critical to helping your child.

If you feel your child with a learning disorder needs support with their socio-emotional development, schedule an appointment with a neuropsychologist.  This is an important part of their development that needs to be nurtured.

[1]Smith, C. and Strick, L. (1997).  Learning Disabilities:  A to Z. New York: Free Press.