How does having a learning disability affect a child?

Written by julia fuller
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How does having a learning disability affect a child?
(Julia Fuller)

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Peer Interactions

Having a learning disability has some effect on a child's ability to interact with other students. A child quickly realises that differences exist in the ability to learn certain subjects, compared to peers. Some children compensate by becoming the class clown, always joking around hoping other students will not notice the disability during interactions. A "class clown" student always pretends that he made the errors on purpose as a joke. While the class clown student remains fairly popular, has friends because of his creativity, he may not receive educational support services necessary to succeed in school during early elementary grades when it is needed the most. Instead, services may go to those students with more obvious disabilities. This can result in the class clown student failing some early subjects, typically those involving reading skills or math. Without a strong early foundation in core subjects the student continues to struggle throughout school and may drop out prior to graduation.

Works Harder Than Others

A child with a learning disability must work much harder than peers do to complete school assignments. Long hours are spent trying to complete the same homework that other students complete in a few minutes. Long and frustrating work hours often cause tears of frustration and arguments with parents over poor grades and a perceived lack of effort by the child. Long work hours limit the child's available time to participate in extra-curricular activities, further hindering potential friendships. Poor grades may also limit the learning disabled child's ability to qualify for school sports teams. The child may work harder to maintain relationships after finishing early elementary grades as older children tend to become more critical of each other.

Struggle With Self-esteem

Because the learning disabled child must work harder than other students, yet not do as well on test or assignments, the child will struggle with self-esteem. As the child leaves elementary grades, for higher grades in school, classmates my begin teasing the learning disabled child. It is quite common for fellow students to call learning disabled students names, or talk about the disabilities behind their backs. Therefore, the learning disabled student may have few true and long-lasting friendships. A child's self-esteem and self-worth, is quite often closely tied to the opinions of peer groups and close friendships.

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