Learning difficulty workshops for parents available soon

Southland parents will soon have workshops offered to them to help heal with the anxieties of having children with learning difficulties.  

Since April, Dyslexia Support Southland co-ordinator Chris Cole has been working to set up a training course to help parents.  

Having children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties could make it quite difficult and emotional for parents to manage and communicate with their children, she said.  As part of her job, Cole said it was frequently mentioned to her that parents felt there was no support for the emotional impact of raising children with learning difficulties.  

Often parents were not sure how to deal with those frustrations, which prompted Cole to set up some training in Invercargill.  

In November, two presenters from the Skylight Trust in Wellington, an organisation that enables young people and their families to navigate through times of trauma, loss and grief, visited Invercargill to train seven people, who will run the course for parents and children this year.  Teachers, counsellors and learning specialists were among those trained.  It would be the first time the course was offered outside Wellington, Cole said. 

“What we find is that the children are having anxiety about their learning and the parents are very anxious as well,” she said.  

Part of the course would help parents understand their children’s anxiety and how to manage the emotional side of things.  “The basis is communication and understanding what it’s like for kids … their brains are wired differently … it’s okay to feel frustrated.” 

It was hoped the course would be offered in the holidays following term one. 

By Briar Babington, The Southland Times, Monday 9 January 2017 (abridged).