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papaparker
papaparker asks:
Q:

Is there a stigma with having the "LD" label?

My 2nd grader is really struggling in school, but I’m reluctant to have her tested for learning disabilities. I don’t want her to face the stigma of having the “LD” label. What should I do?
In Topics: Learning disabilities, Special education, Special needs
> 60 days ago

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Expert

DrSheldonHorowitz
Jun 10, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

If your child was having trouble breathing, you wouldn’t hesitate to find out whether she had asthma or some other medical condition, right?
And if your child was squinting while watching TV or reading and having trouble tracking a ball thrown at her, you wouldn’t shy away from having her eyes checked by a specialist, correct?

Using an inhaler or wearing glasses can carry a “stigma” the same way that struggling to read, write, and do math can impact how people perceive someone’s competence to achieve, compete, and excel at different school-related tasks.

Think about “testing” as “finding out” and not as a way to label or brand your child. The LD label (if deemed appropriate after testing, careful discussion and consensus between you and school personnel) is used solely to formally acknowledge the need to provide some special types of services. Any “stigma” attached to the label will result from misinformation and in most cases, can be minimized (or eliminated) by open and honest conversations about the things your daughter does well, the areas in which she needs assistance, and a shared commitment to ensuring that she has plenty of opportunities to shine. And be sure to include your daughter in these conversations!
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Additional Answers (1)

LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
Very often it is a great relief for the child to find out that he/she is struggling due to a reason.  Many children think of themselves as unintelligent or that something is wrong with them.  Why does everyone else get it?  When a child is given a diagnosis to their condition - it helps  clarify these questions for them.  As they get older it also provides them with opportunities to advocate for themselves!  Hiding a disability or sheltering your child from one is a terrible mistake.  Your child might need help and specialized assistance that will help him/her become a successful student in life.  A disability stays with you for life.  It never goes away.  But - when given the proper remediation and the proper assistance, there is absolutely no reason that your child will not succeed and have a strong self-esteem.  I would go forward with the testing, get the help your child needs, and help guide your child through the LD diagnosis.  There are many books currently on the market on how to explain LD to your children.  Some of them are written for the child to read themselves.
> 60 days ago

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