Talking to Your Child About Their Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

KoolMinds Team
"A lack of knowledge creates fear. Seeking knowledge creates courage."
 -Candice Swanepoel
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Our team here at KoolMinds believes that it's really important to talk to your children about their specific learning disability (SLD). Talking to your child about their SLD will help them to understand themselves better, they will be able to understand why certain activities are challenging and it will help them realize that there are solutions and technologies that can help them. 

“As they grow older, learning about the specific nature of their LD, accepting that LD is not who they are but what they have and orchestrating the types of services, accommodations, and supports they need to be successful will help them overcome barriers to learning and become independent, self-confident and contributing members of society.i

Tips For Talking to Your Child About Their SLD

  • Do some research and learn all that you can about your child's SLD. Gain all the knowledge that you can. You will want to be able to talk to your child about what their SLD is and also what it isn't. The more you know, the better. 
  • Have developmentally age-appropriate conversations. When your child is young, you will want to keep things simple. Keep their vocabulary in mind as you talk to them. As they get older, you will be able to have a deeper and more in-depth conversation about their SLD. You will be able to use clinical terms about their diagnosis  and will need to talk to them about accommodations and modifications that they might need. 
  • Have ongoing conversations. Conversations about their SLD should be ongoing, not just a one-time thing. Give them time and plenty of opportunities to ask questions as they build their understanding.
  • Be honest and open with yourself and with your child. Being diagnosed with an SLD can be tough for some people. Seek support from other people that are going through the same thing. Let your child ask all of the questions they have and be honest with them. If you don't know an answer to something, do more research and find the answers together.
  • Talk about other people who learn and think differently. Tell your child about other family members, friends, coaches, teachers and even famous people that have an SLD. They need to know that they have a support system that can help them and that they are not alone. 
  • Read books together. There are a lot of great books that can help you communicate and teach your kids about learning disabilities. There are several books that feature characters that have an SLD and we have listed some of the below. 
  • Talk about strengths and challenges. We all have strengths and challenges. Discuss things each family member is good at and discuss things that are difficult for them. It's important for children to know that we all need a little extra help with something and that it's okay to ask for help. 
  • Be positive. Remind your child about all of the things that they can do. Try to strike a balance between what they can do and what is difficult. Be optimistic about their development and their future. 
Here are some books that feature characters with an SLD:

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb

Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy by Jim Forgan Ph.D.

The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon by Don M. Winn

Leah's Voice by Lori DeMonia

It’s Hard to Be a Verb!, by Julia Cook

Tom's Special Talent by Kate Gaynor

Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Lily and the Mixed-up Letters, by Deborah Hodge

My Name is Brian, by Jeanne Betancourt

Hank Zipzer Collection by Henry Winkler And Lin Oliver 

Eagle Eyes: A Child's Guide to Paying Attention by Jeanne Gehret

Read these articles for more tips on how to talk to your child about their SLD: 
Video: How Do You Talk About Your Dyslexia - Teen Program
Video: Why should I Tell My Child About Their Learning Disability
“Learning disabilities are not a prescription for failure. With the right kinds of instruction, guidance and support, there are no limits to what individuals with LD can achieve.”
-Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., Director of LD Resources National Center for Learning Disabilities

Does your child have an SLD? Click the link below to learn more about how KoolMinds can help!


[i] Cortiella, Candace and Horowitz, Sheldon H. The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues. New York: National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2014, from
 Morin, A. (2020, December 16). How to talk to your child about learning and thinking differences. Understood.Org. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from
[iii] Explaining Learning Disabilities to Your Child | Tips, Tools & Strategies. (2017, February 17). Churchillstl Design. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from

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