Resources 05 - Life with LD
It is normal for parents to feel worried or concerned when they find out their child has a learning disability (LD). After all, learning disabilities cannot be cured or fixed, and it is a lifelong issue that makes learning harder.
But the diagnosis of a learning disability can also bring a sense of relief. It explains how the child’s brain works in different ways and how that makes learning a specific way harder.
A diagnosis can help the parent and child know why the child may be having trouble with school. It also helps us realize that if a child is behind other kids in school, this is not because the child is less smart. People with learning disabilities often have normal or higher than normal intelligence. They just need to use different ways of learning that fit with how their brain works, and find ways to tap into their brain’s potential.
A lot of the time having a learning disability is a trade-off. The brain gives up the ability in certain areas to excel in other areas.
For example, someone with an LD might have a hard with detailed thinking, but when it comes to connecting ideas and seeing the big picture, they can see things that many people cannot.
Building up these strengths and abilities, and finding ways to overcome struggles can lead to great success.
Having a learning disability does not mean the doors to success are closed. Many famous people, who are seen as successful, very smart, or even gifted, have learning disabilities.
Among these are Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Leonardo da Vinci, Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, and the list goes on.
By finding out how your brain learns best, knowing what you are capable of, and focusing on your strengths, you can create your own success.
Watch this TEDx Video: Stop Climbing, Start Swimming: The hidden advantages of dyslexia with Jonathan Buchanan [8:28 min.]
Having a learning disability makes certain tasks hard that are easy for others. This may cause more struggles for someone with an LD that can bring them down and impact their mental health.
Learn more about learning disabilities and mental health.
LD & Mental Health Info
Signs of Mental Health Struggles in Children?
How to Maintain Good Mental Health
Supporting a Child's Mental Health
The Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston expresses appreciation to the following for the development of these Mental Health Resources:
Melissa Franks, Queen's University BNSc Student
Megan Hill, Queen's University BNSc Student
Life with a Learning Disability
Buchanan, J. (2013, March 21). Stop climbing, start swimming: The hidden advantages of dyslexia: Jonathan Bunchanan at TEDxWarwickED [Video file]. Retrieved 2017-12 from
Ehmke, R. (n.d.). Supporting the emotional needs of kids with learning disabilities. Retrieved 2017-12 from
Firth, N., Greaves, D., & Frydenberg, E. (2010). Coping styles and strategies: A comparison of adolescent students with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43(1), 77-85. doi:10.1177/0022219409345010
Kenny, K., & McGilloway, S. (2007). Caring for children with learning disabilities: an exploratory study of parental strain and coping. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35, 221-228. doi:doi:10.1111/j.1468-3156.2007.00445.x
Could you please answer a short survey about the quality of these resource pages (“Life with LD” and “Mental Health and LD”). The short survey is anonymous and for our knowledge only. Thank you!