How can I explain what a Learning Disability is to my child?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,527
    Dr. Jack Naglieri offers advice on how you can explain what a learning disability is to your child.

    Jack Naglieri

    Dr. Jack A. Naglieri is Professor of Psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to his current position he was Professor of School Psychology and Psychology at the Ohio State University where he taught from 1982 to 2000. The author of more than 150 scholarly papers, chapters, books, and tests, he has focused his efforts since the late 1970s on reconceptualizing intelligence. He also the recipient of the Senior Scientist Award, and holds an appointment as a senior Research Scientist at the Devereux Foundation's Institute for Clinical Training and Research. Dr. Naglieri obtained his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Long Island University, Master of Science from St. John's University, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia in 1979. He worked as a school psychologist in the New York area from 1974-1977. Jack A. Naglieri is also the author of the Cognitive Assessment System (Naglieri & Das, 1997), the CAS Scoring Aide (Naglieri, 2002), the General Ability Measure for Adults (Naglieri & Bardos, 1997), Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (Naglieri, 1996), Devereux Scoring Assistant (LeBuffe, Naglieri, & Pfeiffer, 1996), Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1994), Devereux Behavior Rating Scales School Form (Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1994), Draw A Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (Naglieri, McNeish, & Bardos, 1990), Draw A Person: Quantitative Scoring System (Naglieri, 1988), Matrix Analogies Test (Naglieri, 1985).

    Host: How can I explain what a learning disability is to my child?

    Dr. Jack Naglieri: It s really important for a child who has a learning disability to understand that it s not that they can t do things, but there are some things they can t do very well. They are not stupid, they are able to do things, they can be successful, but they need to find out ways to be successful. They need to notice or recognize the kinds of things they can t do and ask for help say, I can t do this, I need your help. I can do these other things, but I can t do this thing, I need help. I have trouble in remembering things in order; I have trouble remembering my locker combination. They need to be able to voice those concerns and ask for help, and then the parent should sit down with the child and say, Okay, let s figure this out, if you can t remember your locker combination, I am going to figure out the ways so you can, maybe we can play with the numbers and come up with a good strategy for remembering. Maybe we can do something like, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket, work together to help the child understand that they have a specific problem that can be overcome, but they need to workout it together with their teachers and their parents.