By Ann Christen, M.A., M.F.T.
It's nine o'clock on Wednesday evening. You've just barely managed to get your seven-year-old off to bed. You collapse in a chair, overcome with frustration, exhaustion, and a nagging feeling that something's wrong. Why does a simple math worksheet take three hours of work with your child?
You've just returned from a parent-teacher conference for your ten-year-old. The teacher suggested that your son might need testing and special help at school. His reading scores are really low, and he's fallen behind his classmates. In the pit of your stomach you're afraid, and yet you've suspected this for some time now. You're not really surprised at what the teacher said, but it's still hard to hear it spoken aloud.
Your eight-year-old daughter climbs into the back of the car with a scowl on her face. When you ask her about her day at school she responds tearfully and says that all the kids tell her she's stupid, that she hates school, and she's never going back. You struggle for something helpful to say. The ride home is a long one, and you're filled with feelings of guilt, sadness, and confusion.
If any of these situations seem familiar, you may be experiencing grief, a normal response to finding out that your child has learning disabilities. When someone dies you feel grief, but it also occurs as a response to any significant loss and gives rise to many different emotions.
Whenever there's a loss of hopes and dreams, whenever you confront the reality that "something is different, something is wrong" with your child, you experience grief. Feelings of shock, guilt, anger, depression, blame, and denial are common.
Coping with a child's learning difficulties involves many things, from testing and special help at school, to management techniques and accommodations at home. You spend so much time caring for your kids, ensuring that they have everything they need that often you forget to take care of yourself.
To cope successfully with child with LD in the family, remember that you have emotional needs as well. Whenever sadness or loss overwhelm you, accept those feelings and find a way to express them.
When you let yourself grieve, you can begin to heal and refocus on all of your child's wonderful qualities. You can appreciate her unique and special talents and accept her as she is.
Take time to enjoy your child, and remember to take care of yourself, too.
© 2008 GreatSchools Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally created by Schwab Learning, formerly a program of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.