Thanks, Mom! How Parents Can Help Kids with LD

By Melissa Rey

I am sure that it is hard for parents of a child with LD to know how to help. I’ve compiled a list of a few of the many ways that my parents helped me.

Listen Along: Kids with LD feel left out when their classmates talk about books that are beyond their reading level. My mom tackled this issue by playing audio books like Harry Potter when we were riding in the car. I am still a big audio book fan.

Play the Game: When I had a hard time counting coins in first grade, my mom turned our kitchen into “Barb’s Restaurant” complete with menu, prices and a stack of coins. It was fun to add up my breakfast tab and pay my bill. Games like Turbo Twist Spelling helped take the drudgery out of learning spelling words. Visit the app store and search for apps and games for your child.

Search the Web: My mom conducted regular internet searches for ways to help students with dyslexia and then she would buy things that seemed promising. Some, like Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software were great. Other things, like tinted overlays for reading, were not. When I got to college, she often emailed me with links, asking, “Would this be fun?” One of her best finds was a semester-long dry erase calendar, which was wonderful.

Get Out of the School Box: School is always stressful for kids with LD. Help your child find activities outside of school where she can master a skill and experience success. In my case, developing soccer and acting skills brought me happiness and confidence.

Ace in Space: My mom showed me that science equals fun by planning an adventure at NASA’s Parent-Child camp program. After Space Camp, we tried Pilot-Co-Pilot Camp, where our all-girl team came in first place in the “Escape and Evasion” challenge of being dropped in the “wilderness” and finding our way back to base camp.

My biggest message to parents:  Keep trying to help your kids. We appreciate your concern and effort much more than we will ever be able to tell you.

Melissa Rey is a graduate of Pomona College in California.