Try some of these strategies at school and at home to help your child feel more comfortable in asking for help.

Take a few minutes to review these tips with your child. She can start by using a few of them and then try more over time. Since asking for help can be tough for kids with LD, having these simple phrases rehearsed and ready to use can help them to advocate for themselves and feel more comfortable and in control. The tips on how to do positive self-talk can smooth out some of those rough moments.

Learn how to ask for the help you need:

  • Look at the teacher when he or she is talking.
  • Smile at your teacher and nod your head to show that you understand something.
  • When a teacher offers ideas to help you or corrects your mistakes, always say, “Thank you.”
  • Give yourself at least one “I Am, I Can” statement every day.
  • Even if you didn’t finish an assignment or you didn’t like doing it, always hand in your work on time.
  • If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher if he or she can explain it differently using other words or examples.

If you get stuck, try saying:

  • “I understand what you said, but I can’t remember everything I am supposed to do.”
  • “I listened to you, but I don’t understand what I am supposed to do.”
  • “I can do all of the reading, but the writing will be difficult for me.”
  • “I have a very hard time with the reading.”
  • “I tried to listen to you, but I had a hard time concentrating.”
  • “I want to do a good job, and I will need more time to do the work.”

Remember: Teachers don’t get mad at students who try.

This material first appeared in Understanding LD* (*Learning Differences): A Curriculum to Promote LD Awareness, Self-Esteem and Coping Skills in Students Ages 8-13, by Susan McMurchie, M.A. (Free Spirit Publishing Inc.)