Can stigma affect children with learning disorders?

Can stigma affect children with learning disorders?

Having a learning disorder like dyslexia, dyspraxia, or attention deficit disorder can make life difficult for many children. They may find they have a difficult time keeping up with their peers, and as a result they may find it difficult to make meaningful connections that are so important for young children’s social, emotional, and mental development.

Children with learning disorders also face a number of discrimination and stigma that will affect their development.

  • They often face bullying and social ostracisation. When they are already struggling to keep up and connect with their peers, the bullying robs them of a chance to make friends, build connections that are necessary for healthy mental, emotional, and social development. It keeps them separate from their peers and can make the child’s ability to learn even harder.
  • The stigma that people with learning disabilities may be “dumb” greatly affects the child’s belief about themselves. Combined with the bullying and ostracisation, children developing an unhealthy view of themselves fall into a low self-esteem trap that can be difficult to overcome. Low self-esteem negatively affects the child’s ability to learn, and robs them of their willpower and enthusiasm, making meaningful intervention more difficult.

The labels we attach to people with disabilities of all types can haunt them for the rest of their lives. At the end of the day, educators and parents want their children to be able to learn, become productive members of society, and be able to live independently and find for themselves a happy life.

Parents and educators have a duty and responsibility to ensure that children have the best possible path to learning and development.  Even with so many obstacles in the way, there are methods of dealing with these issues so the child can rekindle their enthusiasm for learning. 

College of Allied Educators offers our Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology programme to help you understand your child or the child in your care to more effectively help in their learning and development. 


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