If you feel that your teenager may be struggling with one or more teen learning disabilities, you can seek treatment and get special help from the school to help your teen learn how to compensate for, and deal with, his or her learning disabilities. Getting treatment for your teen’s learning disability is a personal process. Working with professionals and teachers, you should create a plan tailored to your teenager’s individual learning needs. Learning disabilities are not indications that your child is not capable. They are indications that your teen learns in a different way than his or her peers. Plenty of teens with learning disabilities go on to have success in school, career and life.
Working with your teen’s teachers
The school should be involved with your teen’s learning disability treatment. Teachers and other faculty should be made aware of the disability and of ways to help your teen. Your teen may not necessarily need to be placed in a special education class. Scheduling extra time to work with a tutor or teacher may be sufficient. Consult with a professional to help you determine what your teenager needs in the way of help from the school.
Professionals specializing in teen learning disabilities
Learning disability treatment works best when mental health and learning specialists are involved. There are many techniques that can help your teen focus better, compensate for problems with reading, understand math, and remember information more accurately. Here is a list of some of the ways some professionals can help your teen cope with his or her learning disabilities:
- Educational consultant: Helps with educational and learning evaluations. Can help determine what your teen’s specific learning disability is, and how to work with it in context of the school’s curriculum.
- Learning disabilities specialist: Someone with special training to work with students with learning disabilities. Can help teens with learning disabilities coordinate their efforts with teachers.
- Psychiatrist: Can help your teen work through the issues and frustrations associated with teen learning disabilities. If the disability is severe, medication can be prescribed.
- Clinical psychologist: Offers intellectual assessments and can provide counseling for dealing with learning disabilities, as well as helping with techniques to control emotions while coping with teen learning disabilities.
- Educational psychologist: A psychologist specifically trained to deal with educational aspects of mental and emotional health. Can help teenagers with learning disabilities cope, and can coordinate efforts between the teen, his or her parents, and school staff.
- Language and speech therapist: A professional whose emphasis is on helping teens work through language and speech problems.
What you can do for your child with a learning disability
Helping your teenager overcome teen learning disabilities is part of treatment for learning disabilities. You can play a large role in helping your teen cope. While medication can sometimes help, learning the techniques that can assist your teen is an excellent (and healthy) way to help your teenager compensate for learning disabilities. Here are some things you can do:
- Make homework a regularly scheduled activity
- Provide a “homework place” with minimal distractions, good lighting and adequate workspace
- Offer to help your teen do his or her homework by showing him or her how to find answers to questions
- If materials are needed, assist your teen in gathering and organizing needed items before starting. While your teen is doing homework, remain close at hand doing some activity that involves reading or writing to model learning behaviors
- Offer praise for improvements (even small ones) in school performance
Teen Learning Disability Treatment Sources:
- “LD Basics: Parent Tips,” LD Online. [Online.]