How should parents handle learning disabilities in their children?

Learning disabilities come in many shapes and sizes. From Dyslexia and ADHD to Autism and Down Syndrome, learning disabilities affect an individual's ability to successfully learn, work, and socialize within society. As parents we want to protect our children and help them be successful. When our child is diagnosed with a learning disability it can be both scary and disheartening. While we can take our child to the doctor to heal a broken bone, a learning disability is something he will have to carry with him throughout his life.

The good news is that we have a sovereign heavenly Father. God loves all of His children and desires for them to be made whole again. When sin entered the world it altered God's creation negatively. However, when Jesus died on the cross He defeated sin. Consequently, those who have put their faith in Him will be restored to the perfect creation God intended us to be when we go to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1–9; 1 John 3:2). Therefore, instead of asking God why your child has a learning disability, choose to trust Him knowing that He has control over your child's life.

So what does trusting God look like? First, you can have hope knowing that if your child receives Jesus Christ, God will one day take away your child's disability when he is made new in heaven. Next, you can acknowledge that your child's disability does not define him. Instead, teach him what it means to become a follower of Christ and be identified as a child of God (Galatians 3:26). In doing so, both you and your child can be a witness to God's power to bring healing whether it happens in this life or the next and His desire to do great things through even the least of mankind.

In addition to trusting in God, it is important to take action for your child. Connect with parents of other children with disabilities and build a support system of people willing to help you with the extra childcare needs. Access educational resources for students with special needs in your school and community. Research your child's disability to better equip your family with how to best respond to his unique needs. Advocate for the disabled population that continues to be oppressed even to the point of death throughout the world. Get support as a caregiver and rely on the body of Christ, your church family, to help encourage you and pray alongside you. Finally, love your child unconditionally as God loves you.

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