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What to do if you suspect your child has an Intellectual or Learning Disability

What to do if you suspect your child has an Intellectual or Learning Disability

Suspecting or finding out that your child has an intellectual or learning disability can be difficult, particularly if you are uncertain what steps to take.

Here are some pointer’s that we have learned:

Monitor your Child

If your child’s teacher or you suspect that your child has a learning or intellectual disability, monitor your child’s behaviours, learning, and reports to help you collect information. This will assist you to learn how your child learns and will help you gather evidence for testing.

Have Your Child Tested

You may ask your child’s school if they can complete testing, however, in most cases, you may have to take your child to their GP or a pediatrician to receive formal testing and diagnosis.

Look to Hire Assistance

If you are looking to hire a tutor or any therapists (speech, occupational), ensure that you research ones that can provide the best support for your child. You may have to go through various to find the right fit.

Remember that they are still the same child

Your child may have an intellectual or learning disability, but they are still the same child before the diagnosis. Remember that they are still able to achieve the best and, it is important that we do not place limitations on children.

You know your child

You will receive a lot of advice and an influx of information on your child’s needs from teachers, pediatricians, doctors, therapists, and possibly even friends and family. Remember that this is still your child and you will ultimately know what is best for them. As your child grows older, they will also know themselves.

Talk to your child about their Disability 

School can be difficult for any child, especially one with a disability who does not know that they have a disability. Explain your child’s disability to them; however, discuss their strengths and weaknesses and how they can use these to their advantage. Reassure your child that they may learn differently, but they are still able to succeed.

Work with Your Child’s School

If your child has an intellectual or learning disability, you may benefit from meeting with the principal and/or teacher to create an individual learning plan or to discuss activities and resources that they may be able to provide.

Find a Support Group

If you feel overwhelmed, there are many support groups on social media available for assistance.

Parents will always have off days, whether they have children with disabilities or not. Remember to take time for yourself and to remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, even if there are days where you struggle.

‘It’s not our disabilities, it’s our abilities that count’- Chris Burke