Congratulations! You have gone through the laborious, time-consuming (and often expensive) process of obtaining a neuropsychological evaluation for your child. Ideally, many of your questions about how your child learns best have been answered. It is essential that regardless of your child’s age that he/she is involved in the debriefing process. If for some reason, the neuropsychologist can’t or won’t discuss the results with your child, then I encourage you or your child’s teacher/tutor/other educational professional to do so.
From the Benefits of Obtaining a Neuropsychological Evaluation, you may have begun to understand the whys of discussing the results with your child, but now I’d like to delineate some of the hows:
- Create a rope of your child’s strengths (from Understood.org)
- Complete this strength assessment (from Understood.org)
In studies of individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, having a positive perspective on Learning Disabilities was consistently correlated with success
(Goldberg, Higgins, & Raskin, 2003)
- Use books to discuss individuals overcoming struggles and/or having. Some examples are arranged by category from LDOnline or this list from Understood.org
- Find role models, either Success Stories or real life role models (from your community or through organizations like Eye to Eye, a national mentorship program for kids with LD/ADHD)
- Discuss fairness with your child– especially if a child is to receive an accommodation, it is essential that they (and their teachers and peer) recognize that:
Fairness doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same thing. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.
You can use the analogy of glasses, if that helps you. Just because one student has glasses does not mean that every student needs to have glasses to make it “fair.” In fact, it probably would not help the other students!
- Without going overly jargon-y, do not shy away from using real times, especially about the diagnosis (#saydyslexia). This will help them as they practice their self-advocacy skills.
A diagnosis is an explanation of how your child’s brain works. It is not an excuse.
- Create a brain map with your child (This idea was obtained form Laura Rowden from Marshall University’s H.E.L.P Center). Here is a brain map template, which asks students to write/draw their strengths, needs, and likes. You may print and fill it out by hand, or fill it out right in the Google Slide (where you can easily search for pictures under Insert-> Image). Make one for yourself, too, so your child sees that you have strengths, needs, and likes.
- Read more from this article about Talking to Your Child about Having a Learning Disability or about Strengths of People with Learning Disabilities.