Friends and FeelingsSchool And Community Can Help
Good school programs can help a great deal. The best programs are based on current research and designed to meet the needs of a school's students. They are supervised by capable administrators and staffed with professionally trained, sensitive teachers and support staff. Such programs help students with LD make academic progress.
Good programs must also help students with LD fit comfortably into the school and make friends. Administrators should make sure all of the teachers— not just the special education staff—understand the special problems of students with learning disabilities. They should make it clear that teachers are not to call any students “dumb” or “lazy,” nor make other remarks that are put-downs.
In turn, teachers should likewise be firm with students who name-call. Most students do much better with positive comments about their successes and direct help with weaknesses.
Many schools or community groups, like the local learning disabilities parent group, provide training in social skills for students with LD. In schools, the counselors work both formally and informally with students.
Some of the social skills that counselors and group leaders work to correct include the following:
- Language—babyish words, constant cursing, stuttering
- Immature behavior—crying, teasing others, playing with toys meant for younger children, playing with younger children
- Poor sense of social timing—ignoring others, interrupting others, talking too long or too much
- Hostile behavior—blaming others, cruel teasing of classmates, fighting, theft, vandalism, stalking
- Self-defeating behavior—failure to join school clubs or athletics, staying alone, taking drugs or alcohol, going along with others just to fit in
Getting the right help is important because young people with LD grow up to be adults with LD. The choices you make during your school years directly impact your life after school.