The truth is, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to discuss your child’s learning disability with them. But, make no mistake about it – regardless of the approach – it’s a talk you need to have.

By Learning Ally on Monday, December 15, 2014 1:36:17 PM


When kids don’t have the full story, they start to make up their own scenarios. For instance, if your child spends part of a school day with a Special Ed teacher, but hasn’t been told why he or she is doing so, they’re going to begin to wonder “what’s wrong with me?”, and potentially  label themselves as ‘slow’ or ‘stupid’. This could be disastrous!

So, to be clear, fill them in!

Be positive.

Be straightforward.

Give them what they need to understand and cope with the problem.

Remember to:

  • Adapt your explanation to the age of your child
    • Depending on their age, kids absorb information differently
  •  Talk about individual strengths and weaknesses
    • Ok, so your child has a reading disability. What does he or she excel at?
  •  The conversation should be on-going
    • The process is evolutionary, so the conversation should evolve, too
  • Seek the help of other people
    • Teachers, counselors, classmates, siblings,  other parents, etc.
  • Plan for treatment
    • Finding different ways to manage the disability is always good

Next steps: 

Visit our “Ask a Parent” resource at Learning Ally and submit a question about talking to your child about learning disabilities. 


Chat with other parents raising children with dyslexia in our Parent Chat Facebook Group.