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13 Things Children with Learning Disabilities Need You to Know

13 Things Children with Learning Disabilities Need You to Know

The simplest way to explain learning disabilities is to say they are an entire classification of behaviors and functions that prevent learning in a “typical” way. Learning difficulties impact a person and make the learning experience difficult for a host of factors from many different areas of life. When these types of issues are not explained by developmental or neurological disorders, or by vision or hearing loss, or motor skill disorders, but they significantly interfere with a child’s academic achievement or activities of daily living, then a diagnosis of learning disability follows.

Learning Frustrations

    Typically, when a child shows persistent difficult learning how to read, or write or in mathematical reasoning during formal years of schooling, they are suffering from a learning disability. They may demonstrate symptoms such as slow or effortful reading, poor written expression with little or no clarity, difficulties remembering facts, or inaccurate mathematical reasoning. Their testing shows difficulties in academic skills of various types, and they present a range of scores that are well below average.

    Most learning disabilities are diagnosed when a child has been in school for a year or two. If a child shows persistent difficulty in academic skills such as struggling to remember number facts or mathematical reasoning, inaccurate or slow reading even with great effort, or a tough time clearly expressing themselves in writing, they are more than likely dealing with some type of learning disability. There are some learning disabilities, however that manifest themselves earlier on in a youngster’s life.

    Learning disabilties poster

      Experts in developmental studies tell us that there are age appropriate times for certain achievements to occur. Babies are expected to begin walking at a targeted time in their development. The same can be said for showing that they understand what is being said or for having the motor skills and ability to turn themselves over independently. These time-sensitive achievements are called milestones. When developmental tasks fall significantly outside the range given to developmental milestones, this could be an indication of some type of learning disability.

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      Although there are a lot of things we already know about learning disabilities, as neuroscience continues to expand its research, we are learning more about them all the time. There still is much to learn and perhaps one of the best places to start is to walk a mile in the shoes of a child who experiences a learning disability.

      Here are 13 things kids with learning disabilities would like you to know:

      1. We are not our disorder

      This is facing the problem square on, right from the start. Having a disorder is one component of a person, and must not be considered more than one single component. So often, people allow the disorder to take on what seems like a life of its own in which it takes shape and hold of not only the person with the disorder, but that person’s loved ones as well. In other words, many times, people allow disorders to take over and control everything about that person entirely.

      Most likely, this is because of all the other emotions that attach themselves to the situation, strong, negative emotions such as frustration, anger and fear. Once these heavy-duty emotions take over, the road back is hard to find. It serves everyone well to be able to keep it all in proportion even if that means taking a step back and letting go of something we feel may be overwhelming.

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        2. Our difficulties aren’t anyone’s fault

        Of course, it is not a good thing to blame anyone or to treat a kid with a learning disability like they’re doing anything wrong, but it is also just as important to make sure as a parent to not blame themselves. Learning disabilities are disorders like diabetes, acne or any other. As such, it can be worked with and its negative effects dealt with and lessened with proper attention and care. Reminding ourselves it is not anyone’s fault is a great way to remember that nobody wins if we look for someone or something to blame.

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        3. Our feelings count too

        Having a learning disability does not in any way connect to any type of emotional disability or delay. Ignoring a child’s emotional well-being is detrimental. This applies not only from other children or teachers who ridicule and respond negativity to them in school, but more importantly by siblings and even parents, or caregivers at home. If anything, they are more emotionally vulnerable and in a position to be scarred for life emotionally by the harsh way they are treated.

        4. Yelling or punishments won’t makes us learn any faster

        Although we may not yet fully understand the connection between the two, anger seems to follow frustration quite often. And as caring parents who want to see their children excel, they sometimes let our disappointment and frustration in watching them struggle. If they let their feelings get the best of them and lose sight of the one who is really feeling the effects, they may give into our anger and actually try to strong arm the outcome they would prefer to see.

        Needless to say, this would be a total lose-lose scenario and only make things worse all the way around.

        5. We’re not doing this to make you mad

        This follows closely on the heels of yelling and punishments because when parents do this, it is very likely that their child will feel as if their parents believe their lack of success is intentional and like they are holding them responsible not only for the lack of progress they are making, but also for doing it on purpose. Talk about carrying a heavy load! As adults, we need to stand back and again, realize who it is that is struggling here and offer a way to support, not tear down further.

        Einsteing on Learning Disabilities

          6. We’re still kids, so give us a break

          Hearing this means that parents are willing to step outside ourselves as parents or grownups even further and realize that to a child, it may not really be all that important in the first place. This is extremely important – it follows the old saying about ‘walking a mile in another person’s shoes.’ Although it may be a struggle for a child to try and keep up academically, they are still just a kid and sometimes (and this is in no way a bad thing) it may not seem all that devastating until adults make it that devastating.

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          7. Be patient, some things may take us longer to learn

          This is not an inability. So with patience and repetition, many times those who know how to work with this specialized population often move mountains. They may move slowly, but we know that slow and steady often times wins the race. Patience is key to helping a child become confident in their abilities, especially if they are compromised in some way.

          8. We’re just regular kids deep down

          All children need to develop a sense of belonging, stability and esteem in order to develop into healthy, productive adults. Having a learning disability doesn’t change that in any way other than possibly to make it even more important because of negatives that are flung at the child like targeted missiles. Yet, most people tend to behave differently toward a child with learning disability. Finding a mid-point, a type of balance and normalcy, is critical to helping a child develop and maintain healthy habits.

          9. Little acomplishments mean a lot to us

          Keeping the lens of the other person’s shoes in place, it is not a far leap to realize that what may seem like no big deal to adults, can be a major accomplishment to a child, especially when it is a struggle. By noticing little accomplishments and molding them, parents help create bigger, greater accomplishments and there may be nowhere to witness this more so than with a child with learning disabilities. Make a big thing out of little accomplishments and watch in amazement over what follows.

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            10. If you believe we will succeed, then we will too

            Children with learning disabilities are predestined for much more rejection and frustration in their lives than most. But, if they see that those people who matter most to them haven’t given up hope and have a positive outlook toward life’s challenges, they too, will pick up that winning attitude and stay motivated even in the face of adversity. Model the type of determination and grit that you know your child is going to benefit from throughout their life.

            11. Reward us with gifts or praise, even for little things

            Rewards don’t have to be costly. Sometimes a pat on the back means as much, if not more, as any gift might. Since success isn’t something that comes very frequently to children with disabilities, genuine, heartfelt praise is worth its weight in gold. The trick is to make sure it is genuinely from the heart, and make sure you don’t wait for what you might consider a major event. Remember how important little accomplishments are. Honor those events, even the little ones, because those little ones matter … BIG TIME.

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            12. Don’t give up on us

            When things are harder for us, the tendency to give up is greater. This applies with children who have learning disabilities even more because they are more likely to face difficulties and failures in every day events than others do. Teaching tenacity and determination and modeling how to fall down and get back up again, helps a child develop resilience, something they will benefit from tremendously throughout their lives.

            Pet Therapy

              13. Pets can be super helpful for us

              New studies can be found all the time, that tout the praises of how therapeutic a pet can be. This holds true for children with disabilities as well. From pleasure in friendship and companionship, to the physical benefits of touch in petting and holding a dog or cat, to the esteem building and overall sense of well-being pets bring, it is not surprising to learn about the successful statistics accompanying pets with children with disabilities, including learning disabilities.

              Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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              Last Updated on May 21, 2019

              13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

              13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

              Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

              Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

              Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

              1. Stress Eating

              I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

              While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

              I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

              If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

              How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

              2. Nail Biting

              Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

              People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

              Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

              For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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              3. Hanging out with Naysayers

              We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

              Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

              Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

              4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

              Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

              While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

              Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

              Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

              5. Smoking

              Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

              In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

              Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

              Smoking risks

                6. Excessive Drinking

                All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                9. Watching Too Much TV

                I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                10. Being Late

                Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                11. Being in Bad Relationships

                Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                13. Focusing on the Negatives

                In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                The Bottom Line

                So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                Reference

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