Many parents with children who experience difficulty learning wonder if their child’s learning problems affect their behavior or if their child behavior affects their ability to learn. Ironically, the answer is probably yes to both.
A child that is experiencing any number of learning behavior disorders will have trouble learning and tend to fall behind academically as well as developmentally and socially. At the same time, a child who is experiencing problem learning behavior will often times translate their feelings of confusion or being overwhelmed into behavioral patterns which can seem unrelated to the learning problem, even when the learning difficulty is the catalyst of the behavioral issue.
This can become more of an issue when the learning impairment is ongoing for a period of time and eventually begins to influence the child’s behavior, ego or self esteem. This type of damage can result in actual permanent injury to the child’s self image which can further increase their tendency to exhibit behavioral problems in the future.
The good news is that in today’s society, there are a number of treatments available through which parents can effectively address their child’s behavioral issues as well as any learning impairments they might have. The late Dr. Meena Hazra, a pediatric neurologist had this to say. “Picture a three ring circus, there is loud music, all around in the audience are screaming children, adults, flashing lights, other distractions – yet in the middle ring there are elephants, and tigers and lions, and what are they doing? Climbing up on stools and jumping through hoops of fire. Now if we can teach wild animals how to behave in public, certainly we can teach even a child with ADHD how to behave in public and learn”
If you feel like your child is having difficulties which stretch beyond the realm of normal childhood problems, it is important for you as a parent to recognize that the first step in any type of effective treatment is diagnosis. Once a child behavior pattern is properly evaluated by a professional and any potential difficulties are specifically identified, you and your child are equipped to cope with the problem and better understand the treatment or solution that is ideal for them.
Parenting is hard work. Parenting a child with a behavior or learning problem is even harder. But experts agree if you follow a program where you reward positive behavior, use negative consequences for negative behavior, and are consistent in your own behavior, then even the highest expectations which you have for your child’s behavior may be achieved.