There is already a lot going on in the life of a family. So to be also faced with the challenge of a child who struggles with learning can be overwhelming.
Last time Children Learning Specialist, Natalie Nicholls joined Mike to explain how to encourage children who struggle with learning. This week she wanted to discuss kids who have learning challenges that may be overlooked at home or school. Natalie shared the story of 8-year-old David. The teacher told his parents that he had a habit of looking out the window, not paying attention and daydreaming. The teacher was very compassionate and was concerned as she knew he was a good kid. Despite his creativity he started showing challenges with writing and getting his thoughts onto paper. His parents were angry at him, “You must listen to your teacher, stop looking out the window and pay attention.”
But David didn’t know why he couldn’t write like the other kids. He started to feel angry and put pressure on himself to try and do what he was asked. This led to anxiety and low confidence. He really believed he couldn’t do it, so what is the point in trying? This story about David, is more common than you think. Many children Natalie meets at her practice have been through a similar story.
David continued year by year at school s with no extra support and was labelled as the kid who didn’t try. He got to his year 12 exams and decided there was no point studying. Some kids can cope through challenges at school and will try every way to get through. But some lose their self-belief and stop trying at everything, David’s story could be different but how? What can you do as a parents to prevent this from happening to our child?
1) Find the underlying cause: Poor behaviour and academics always has an underlying reason. Talk compassionately and understandingly and remember you did not fail as a parent.
2) Speak with the teacher: Request an assessment firstly through the school if you can’t go privately.
3) Get interventions: Natalie hears many parents say the schools should be providing this. They would if they had the knowledge, time and resources to do so. Specialist teachers have a high level of training in learning difficulties and are generally more qualified that classroom teachers.
Does your child struggle with learning? Let us know your thoughts by texting or messaging us on socials. Listen to the full chat below!