It’s an easy dismissal: your child is branded weak by all who meet him. His peers tease his fumbling explanations. His teachers become impatient with every miscommunication. They deem him unworthy of their time or respect. It’s simple for them to refuse to offer the necessary effort. They would rather shrug and walk away, content to let you pick up the pieces of his (very) shattered ego.
And you do.
Parents must understand one truth: children with disabilities require constant affection and support. Too often is their potential denied, thought to be too minimal to even mention. They’re ignored by all, branded failures before they have the chance to even attempt success. And this is neither fair nor right.
Your child — when faced with constant opposition — may begin to believe all of the slurs. He will assume he can’t excel at anything he tries and will therefore decide it is better to simply not try at all. You cannot allow this to happen. Instead you must offer encouragement and assurances. You must remind him always that he can do what he desires.
This affirmation is essential. When children are denied positive reinforcement, they suffer from low self-esteem, anger, depression and a desire to channel their worry into physical outbursts. These feelings are intensified, however, when experienced by those with learning disabilities. They are already burdened with stress. It becomes too much to bear when not countered with affection.
It is vital therefore that all parents provide their children with the necessary coaxing. Speak often of their talents; offer patience when tasks prove challenging; reassure that potential can be proven. This is not simple flattery. This is instead combating the strains of a disability. Belief must be given. It is necessary for all students to maintain their confidence.
Your child has been denied by others. You must counter this then with support. Encourage him always. Assist with all you can. And offer constant certainty.