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We have already stressed how important it is for a child to develop their proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic. How a youngster develops socially during his or her elementary school years should receive at least as much invested energy. Identification with peers becomes all important and yet is riddled with a myriad of unpredictable factors. Fads come and go and what is or isn't cool changes frequently which creates stress. Imagine what this pressure adds to kids who are already struggling with a learning disability. This is the time in which more consideration is given to what one's peers think than what one's family thinks. Kids can become obsessed with having and wearing what their peer group deems cool to have and wear. To not possess these things and risk standing out as inferior can make any individual feel desperate. Needing to feel accepted is a basic human need that lasts a lifetime and it takes on a whole new meaning once a kid begins school.
Children with learning disabilities often get labeled as "different" by peers. This can feel like the kiss of death to a learning disabled child. Missing social cues is a common problem for them. Being socially imperceptive alienates them. Other kids write them off as weird, dumb or unfriendly. Some learning disabled children forget names, show up late, or fail to return items that belong to others. ADHD kids trample on conversations and speak without considering the impact their words may have on another. Many fail to observe the common courtesies of respecting others belongings or taking turns. They may feel sincerely sorry for offending others but this doesn't prevent them from doing the same thing again only seconds later. Other learning disabled children get stuck in rigidity and have great difficulty doing things another way. Hating to lose creates tension in many activities that could potentially be bonding opportunities for them. All these social hiccups mean lots of rejection. It is no wonder many of these children adopt an approach to life where they reject others before others get a chance to reject them. Their self-esteem doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a chance.
Children with language processing difficulties have trouble following or contributing appropriately in conversations. They often miss the jokes and fail to comprehend word play. Learning rules to a game present a unique challenge which further alienates them from much needed social bonding. Some adapt by being passive participants but this leads to feeling like they can't be themselves. To add insult to injury, learning disabled children are further alienated from their peers by the classes they take. Many report that as soon as another kid learns that they take LD classes, all bets are off.
Studies show that the secondary school kids as well as college students' who excel in school, share the attitude of acceptance toward their disability and have learned how to compensate for it. Denying the reality of your child's learning problems will only hinder her development and perpetuate her struggle as she moves forward in life. Empowering her to accept and learn how to work with her unique challenges to learning will ensure her success.
Many children and adults who suffer from learning disabilities are experienced as self-centered by others. It is the concrete manner in which their brains function that prevent them from empathizing or putting themselves in another person's shoes. In these situations, it is extremely helpful to a child when a loving parent explains to them exactly how some one else may be feeling and what behavior is expected as a result.