April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism-spectrum disorder affects every 1 in 68 children in the United States, which also affects how ASD children socialize and learn. Separately, approximately 5 percent of children in the U.S. experience some kind of learning difference/disability.

Some helpful reminders for what parents can do to approach, address and overcome learning differences at school:

  1. Foster positive student/teacher relationship. If your child knows that teachers and specialists are their friends, they will be more receptive to them. And, if the teachers and specialists have open and respectful communication with the parent, the better results of therapy and strategies.
  1. Feed the child’s confidence. Low self-esteem is common for children for those on the spectrum of ASD and those with learning differences. The more you can highlight the strengths and triumphs of kids trying to overcome challenges, the better.

Don’t discount the value of educating children in an age-appropriate way about others’ challenges. Just because someone’s different than you, you don’t need to be scared or angry with them.

Visit National Autism Association for more details about the early signs of autism.

More information about addressing learning differences at school can be found here and the latest findings on autism research can be found here in L.A. Parent magazine.

Upcoming family fun events in the Los Angeles area during Autism Awareness Month in L.A. Parent’s Inclusive L.A. newsletter.

Jill Simonian is an Author and Parenting Lifestyle Contributor, appearing on CBS Los Angeles every Wednesday on News at 5pm and Friday mornings at 6:45am. Her personal blog is TheFabMom.com. Follow Jill on Twitter @jillsimonian and connect with her on Facebook.


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