Research Study:Life Success for Children With Learning Disabilities
Children with learning disabilities (LD) grow up to be adults with LD. That is, many of the difficulties experienced in childhood continue throughout adulthood. Even so, some people with LD follow a life path that leads them to success. They become productive members of society. They live satisfying and rewarding lives. Others find little more than continued "failure." They are barely able to "keep their heads above water" – emotionally, socially, or financially.
Many of these people have similar backgrounds and learning problems. Why, then, do they follow such different paths? Why does one end up with a rewarding career, long-term friendships, and financial stability while another has a life of unproductivity, isolation, and financial stress?
Research by the Frostig Center of Pasadena, CA, has shown that a set of personal traits, attitudes, and behaviors can help lead people with LD to successful life outcomes. It identified the following success attributes and offers ways to help children develop them:
- The presence and use of effective support systems
- Emotional coping strategies.
Based on more than 20 years of research by the Frostig Center, Life Success for Children with Learning Disabilities: A Parent Guide has the end goal of helping children become competent, content, and independent adults. These are people who reach their full potential and lead satisfying lives. Following the successful introduction of the Parent Guide, researchers at the Frostig Center also distilled their findings into a valuable tool for teachers. It's called The Six Success Factors for Students with Learning Disabilities.
How Can a Child Develop Success Attributes?
Fostering these six attributes is one of the ways that parents can help their children with LD grow up to be more successful throughout their lives. These attitudes, behaviors, and traits require exercise, practice, and review just as with any other skills children learn. At different life stages, new challenges may require you to recycle and revisit with your children the success attributes they worked on earlier.
To date, no research tells us exactly how to teach these attributes. Yet, research does suggest a number of key areas to consider. The specific approach to developing these attributes is dependent upon the age, abilities, experience, interests, and living environment of your child.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. © 1999-2009 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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