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What Can I Do To Help My Child With Their Learning Difficulties?

What Can I Do To Help My Child With Their Learning Difficulties?

There are no cures or quick fixes for learning difficulties, but there are steps you can take to begin the process.

Lifestyle insight
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What can I do for my child with a learning difficulty?

As a parent, if your child is ever struggling, it will always be your first instinct to want to jump in and help. But with a learning difficulty, there aren’t any quick fixes, and there isn’t a magic pill that will solve the problem.1 Your child’s brain is processing information differently, so supporting a learning difficulty is essentially re-conditioning the brain to process information, as well as ensuring you’re feeding the brain with the right nutrients to ensure proper development.2

How to evaluate an intervention

There is a lot of information out there about different interventions and strategies that may be suitable for your child. But how do you know which one would be best for your child?
Here are 3 tips to think about when considering any intervention:
  1. Beware of simple solutions: There aren’t any quick fixes for learning difficulties, so definitely be wary if someone is offering a solution that seems too good to be true, because it probably is!3,4
  1. Ask questions: Don’t be shy about asking questions. Some questions to ask:3,4
  • Has this strategy been successful in other children?
  • Has this strategy been studied before?
  • Are there any possible side effects that you know of?
  1. Trust yourself: You are always going to have your child’s best interest at heart, so trust your instinct. If you don’t like the sound of an intervention or strategy don’t just go along, get a second opinion.4
Consider nutrition
60% of the brain’s weight is made up of oils and fats, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that making sure you have the right fats, such as omega-3s, in your diet can help with brain health.5A typical modern Western diet is actually lacking these omega-3s and include more processed fats that aren’t good for you or brain development.5
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are proven to improve cognitive function. Learn more about omega-3s and their importance.5 They have been linked to neurological development, so when your body is deficient of them you are at a higher risk of learning difficulties.5
The best source for omega-3s are oily fish. Learn more about which types of fish contain the most omega-3s. We know that some people don’t like the taste of fish and therefore won’t include fish or seafood in their diet.However, especially for growing children, it’s important to supply the body with these omega-3s that are vital for brain development. If you don’t think that your child is getting enough omega-3s in their diet alone, definitely consider a fish oil supplement. Fish oil supplements have been linked to improving cognitive learning and the best part is they don’t come with any horrible side effects.
  1. National Institute of Health. What are the treatments for learning disabilities? at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/learning/conditioninfo/treatment. Accessed  November 2018.
  2. Child Mind Institute. Specific learning disorder: treatment Available at: https://childmind.org/guide/specific-learning-disorder/treatment/. Accessed  November 2018.
  3. PBS Parents. Treatment for learning disabilities.    Available at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/learning-disabilities/basics/treatment-for-learning-disabilities/. Accessed November 2018.
  4. PBS Parents. Teaching Strategies – learning disabilities.    Available at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/learning-disabilities/strategies-for-learning-disabilities/teaching-strategies/. Accessed  November 2018.
  5. Integrated Medicine Institute. Specific nutrients for children with learning disabilities and hyperactivity issues. Available at: https://www.imi.com.hk/specific-nutrients-for-children-with-learning-disabilities-adhd-hyperactivity.html. Accessed  November 2018.

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