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Learning Disability in Children: Care Instructions

Your 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 will not outgrow a learning disability. But he or she can build new learning skills that help work around it.

It is important to know what kind of disability your child has and what his or her strengths are. If your child has not yet been tested, talk to your child's school about doing a team assessment. Your child may be able to get help from a learning specialist at school. If so, you and the school will make an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) or an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This plan helps the school help your child to succeed in the classroom.

If your child does not qualify for special services, 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. Some children use audiobooks and record classroom lectures. Others take tests out loud or as short essays, rather than as multiple choice.

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?

  • Research and learn all you can about your child's learning disability. Get expert advice about your child's special needs and how you can help. Your doctor can suggest the name of a specialist who can give you helpful information.
  • 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 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.
  • Teach your child to stay with a task or project until it is done.
  • Show your child how to plan and study, or find someone who can. If possible, hire a tutor as needed.
  • Work as a team with your child's teachers.
  • Celebrate and support your child's gifts and strengths.
  • Help make time for your child to get daily play and exercise.

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?

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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.