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Detecting Learning Disabilities

(continued)

Treating Learning Disorders

Special education is the most common treatment for learning disorders. Under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all U.S. children with learning disorders are entitled to receive special education services for free in public schools.

After doing an evaluation to pinpoint where your child is having problems, a team of special educators will create an individualized education program (IEP) for your child that outlines what special services he needs to thrive at school. Special educators will then help your child build on his strengths and teach him ways to compensate for his weaknesses.

Many resources are also available outside of the public school system, including:

  • Private schools that specialize in treating children with learning disabilities
  • After-school programs designed for children with learning disabilities
  • At-home tutoring and therapy services

A learning disability doesn't have to be a roadblock to success. With the right tools, people with learning disabilities can overcome any challenge.

Parenting a Child With a Learning Disability

Finding out your child has a learning disability can be overwhelming. Many parents find the process of diagnosing a learning disability incredibly frustrating, and then once the diagnosis comes, they face an uphill battle to get their child the help he or she needs.

The best thing you can do as a parent is simply to love and support your child. These tips can also help you help your child:

1. Learn everything you can. Get all the facts about your child's learning disability and how it affects the learning process. Research services and supportive strategies so that you'll be able to take an active role in deciding on the right treatment for your child.

2. Be your child's advocate. Work with your child's school to develop an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) -- a special plan that sets goals for your child and describes support that may be needed to reach those goals. Understand special education laws and school policies so you can make sure your child is getting the most out of school. Many services may be available, but they may not be offered until you ask for them.

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