The Borten Institute
This picture was striking to me. Mainly because of the enormity of truth that emanates from the oversized letters on the wall.
Fear Is A Liar…let that sink in for a minute.
Are you struggling with any fears, or dare I say struggling with lies, as it pertains to raising a child with a learning disability?
In a recent survey I conducted of parents raising children with learning disabilities, several fears emerged in the analysis of the responses.
The most common fears that emerged can be categorized as follows:
1. My child with a learning disability will not make academic progress.
The truth is, some children with learning disabilities demonstrate academic growth in many ways. What do you consider to be progress? Your answer to this question can alleviate a lot of fear. Grades, progress reports, and state exams are NOT the only measures of academic success. Communicate with your child’s teachers and get a clear picture of what academic success looks like for your child.
2. My child with a learning disability will not be independent as an adult.
The truth is, according to the most recent U.S Census Bureau, 2.7% of adults 18-24 years old have a learning disability. 41% of these adults go on to complete some type of postsecondary education such as: two-year colleges, vocational schools, or 4-year universities. Of this same age group, 92% report that they are gainfully employed earning low to mid yearly incomes. Thus, the likelihood that your child will be self sufficient as an adult, based solely on the numbers, is good! Consider that your determination, together with the school’s commitment, increases the probability exponentially!
3. My child with a learning disability will not have friends.
The truth is, social skills and building peer relationships, can be incredibly challenging for children with learning disabilities. It is important to allow the child to build relationships at a pace appropriate for them. Keep in mind, that a big part of making friends, is a child’s view of self. Social skills training offered thru schools, private agencies, and informally at home can be immensely helpful. The important thing to remember, although it may take time, is your child can have “friends”. Encourage your child to interact with others (as appropriate) and teach them to have a healthy self-perception.
Fear is a liar. So, don’t believe the hype, don’t fall for the okie doke, and don’t take the wooden nickel. Know the truth and the truth will set you free!
Nikita Borten, M.ED
2020, the year of unpredictability. From a scary deadly virus, to abrupt school closures, to violence in the streets.
It is all very overwhelming for us as adults, but even more so for children. No one would have ever predicted that a taped killing of a man by a police officer, would be played over and over for the world to see.
It is unsettling. That is why it is so important to communicate with children about the violence and unrest they are seeing today.
Below are a few tips about how to talk to children about riots.
1) Be Honest
Images of protest and riots are everywhere and easily available for all to see. Be honest with children about images they are seeing in media. Explain the difference between peaceful protesting and rioting.
2) Be Fair
Explain the why’s, fairly. Inform children that some people are upset about how SOME police officers treat people. But also explain that not all police officers are bad. Protesting and riots are not the only way to ask for change. Talk to your children about other ways to ask for change (voting, email elected officials, signed petitions etc.)
3) Be Cautious
Monitor the amount of exposure children have to the unrest shown in TV and social media. Unfiltered language and media messaging could influence children in way that maybe different from your personal values. Additionally, overexposure can lead to fear and high anxiety in children.
Nikita Borten, M.ED