Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Learning Disability in Children: Care Instructions

Main Content

Learning Disability in Children: Care Instructions


A learning disability is a problem with how the brain takes in, makes sense of, or expresses information. This can affect how your child listens, speaks, reads, writes, spells, or does math. Your child won't outgrow a learning disability. But they can build new learning skills that help with success.

It's important to know what kind of disability your child has. It also helps to know what their strengths are. If your child hasn't been tested, talk to their school about doing a team assessment. Your child may be able to get help from a learning specialist at school. If so, your child will get a learning plan, such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or an Individualized Program Plan (IPP).

If your child doesn't qualify for special services and an IEP, work with the school to find the best ways to help your child learn. For example, your child may need extra time to finish tests and schoolwork.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Learn more

  • Research and learn all you can about your child's learning disability. Your doctor can suggest the name of a specialist who can give you helpful information.
  • Find out your child's best learning style. Does your child do best through reading or listening? Would a demonstration or hands-on practice work better? For example, if your child understands more when listening, let them learn new information by listening to an audio book.

Support your child

  • Celebrate and support your child's gifts and strengths.
  • Be honest with your child about the disability. Explain it in a way that your child can understand. And offer your love and support. Tell your child that some things may be hard for them, but they can succeed.
  • Help your child set goals. Show your child how to do homework or a project as a series of smaller tasks instead of one large task.
  • Teach your child to stay with a task or project until it is done.
  • Help make time for your child to get daily play and exercise.

Get help

  • Teach and show your child that it is okay to ask for help. Whenever you make a mistake, talk to your child about how you learn from it.
  • Show your child how to plan and study, or find someone who can. Ask the school about getting a tutor.
  • Work as a team with your child's teachers.
  • If you have concerns about your or your child's mental health, look into counselling. Counselling may be able to help you and your child manage any feelings that you have.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You have questions about your child's learning disability.
  • You notice new or worsening symptoms or problems.
  • You have questions or concerns about a medicine your child is taking.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter L733 in the search box to learn more about "Learning Disability in Children: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.