Learning Disabilities Cause Stress at Home
Dear Open Mind: My son was diagnosed with learning disabilities and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at age 8. My husband has never agreed with the diagnosis and seems to feel our son could do better if he only worked harder. He does not believe in medication or counseling and does not want our son stigmatized by receiving special education services. Our son is now 15 and failing school, has few friends, and is becoming more defiant to us. He is angry and expresses his anger to the family both verbally and physically. Our family life has become extremely stressful. I am very confused and don't know where to turn.
We understand that dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and learning disabilities can be stressful for families. Since these disabilities are neurological in origin and will not disappear, it is imperative that your family seek assistance.
Even though your husband is not ready to accept counseling, it would be helpful for you to seek intervention for yourself and your son. Appropriate explanations of his strengths and weaknesses will begin to dispel some of the anger and frustration he is dealing with. It is important for you to understand how he functions best in and out of the classroom. This understanding will allow him to express his own needs and will eventually lead to increased self-esteem. Taking the first step is sometimes the most difficult. For this reason, it might help you to contact the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) here in St. Louis, which provides referrals, guidance and support groups for parents and professionals. One of LDA's upcoming events is a seminar featuring Dr. Edward Hallowell, who will speak on attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities. …