How to support a child with a learning disorder

Alloprof parents

Is your child coping with a learning disorder? Fortunately, you can help them understand why they’re different and surmount the challenges that lie ahead. With the following strategies, you’ll be better equipped to support your child.

A learning disorder has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s an information-processing problem that can affect different aspects of brain functioning, like the following:

Often—but not always—a learning disorder will coexist with other difficulties, like the following:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Hyperactivity
  • Behavioural disorders
  • Emotional maladjustments
  • Sensory deficits
  • Etc.

Getting a diagnosis isn’t necessary, but it can have many benefits. For instance, it can help you do the following:

  • Put your child’s difficulties into words
  • Get proper follow-up care
  • Better understand your child’s behaviour
  • Ease your frustrations, as well as your child’s
  • Etc.
Tips and tools

To learn more about the topic, check out our learning disorder section.

Children who are coping with a learning disorder often face a number of challenges. It’s therefore essential to foster their self-esteem. To help your child believe in their academic ability, you can say the following:

  • Even if you don’t learn as fast as your classmates, you’re just as smart as they are.
  • Your disorder doesn’t define you; you have so many great qualities.
  • I love you just the way you are !
  • I believe in you !
  • I’m so proud of what you’ve achieved.
  • Everyone learns at their own pace.
  • Etc.

Suggest ways they could make up for their limitations

A child with a learning disorder can overcome their limitations in all sorts of ways. Depending on their needs, you can encourage them to do the following:

  • Ask questions in class to stay focused
  • Summarize information in their own words to make it easier to remember
  • Use their school agenda to help them follow a routine
  • Take notes to help them learn and stay focused
  • Break down tasks and check them off once they’re complete so nothing is forgotten
  • Etc.

For children with learning disorders, assistive technology can be a real lifesaver. In fact, these tools can make the following school-related tasks much easier:

Here are a few very useful assistive technology tools:

  • Word prediction software
  • Proofreading software
  • Text-to-speech software
  • Graphic organizers
  • Smartpens
  • Etc.

An action plan is a little bit like a guide. Created in collaboration with the school team, this document contains a list of actions that aim to foster your child’s development. An action plan can help you do the following:

  • Determine your child’s abilities
  • Identify their needs
  • Set goals
  • Find ways to help them achieve their goals
  • Etc.
Tips and tools

Need help preparing for an upcoming meeting about your child’s action plan? Check out our handy guide.

Action plan preparation guide

Download this file


Writing : Catherine Couturier
Scientific review : Nathalie Paquet Bélanger, orthopédagogue

Rewriting : Alloprof Parents’ team