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Do learning difficulties mean absolute failure in everything?
If a child has learning difficulties, it does not mean that he or she cannot learn or even master a skill.

What does it mean to be a child with learning difficulties?
Children with learning difficulties are different when it comes to actual abilities and academic achievement at school. Their brain processes information differently.

Does learning difficulty mean mental disability?
Learning difficulty is not a mental, physical, or motivational disability; it is due to a neurological disorder.

Is learning difficulty an indication of laziness?
Children with learning difficulties are not lazy; they are different because they have moderate or higher intellectual ability.

 

Why is it said that individuals with learning difficulties are lazy?
Some children with learning difficulties may suffer from lower self-confidence because they are not able to succeed at school. This pushes them into an endless cycle of unsuccessful experiences at school and a feeling of marginalization.

How do we help a child with learning difficulties?
It is important that parents support their children and help them to identify their skills and develop them into a hobby that may enable them to excel. This is necessary in order to increase their self-confidence and to help them overcome negative emotions, especially the sense of failure.

It is necessary to encourage the child to develop any skill in which she or he excels in, or she/he shows interest in. For example:

  • If a child with learning difficulties draws well, we suggest that she or he joins a class to learn drawing and perhaps another skill, in addition to learning at school.
  • If a child likes to sing, we suggest that she or he joins a choir.
  • If a child is good at taking pictures, we suggest that she or he joins a photography school.
  • If the child loves cooking, we recommend teaching him or her basics of cooking.

What should we do if a child with a learning difficulty refuses to learn a skill?
It is very important not to impose an activity on the child just because this is his or her parents’ wish. We must not put pressure on the child to avoid pushing him or her to resist and maybe pushing him or her to turn either into an introvert or into a child who always gets in fights or creates trouble.

Extracurricular activities and hobbies are essential to help raise a child’s self-esteem. This is why parents should focus on his or her strengths.

We recommend well observing the child while playing. Is he good in playing with cubes or similar toys like Lego? This may indicate an ability to imagine, to be creative, and maybe fine motor skills.

In the following links you will find ideas to identify your child’s strengths, and learn more about the importance of hobbies to build self-confidence:

6 Steps for Recognizing Strengths in Kids With Learning and Attention Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/building-on-strengths/6-steps-for-recognizing-strengths-in-kids-with-learning-and-attention-issues

Morin, A. (n.d.). Types of Strengths in Kids. Retrieved from: https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/building-on-strengths/types-of-strengths-in-kids

6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Self-Esteem With Extracurricular Activities. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/child-social-situations/extracurricular-activities/6-ways-to-improve-your-childs-self-esteem-with-extracurricular-activities

Emily Hoppin

A native from the state of Colorado, USA, Emily first came to Lebanon in 2016 to volunteer teach at a summer English camp for refugees hosted by one of LSESD’s partner churches in Zahle. Upon arriving in Lebanon, she immediately fell in love with the country and knew that she was destined to come back for the long term. After completing her master’s degree in Linguistics at the Free University of Berlin, Emily was finally able to realize her dream of moving to Lebanon. In August 2019, Emily Hoppin joined the LSESD team as its Communications Officer. “Working at LSESD is like putting that missing piece into a puzzle. For the first time in my life, everything fits,” she states. With a knack for languages, writing, and connecting with people, Emily feels as though all of her skills, talents, and passions have finally come together in one place through her work at LSESD. Just as her first name means “industrious”, Emily believes in hard work and perseverance. Allowing Colossians 3:23 to guide her work ethic, Emily seeks to serve the Lord in her role at LSESD with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength.

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