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Helping Teens With Disabilities
There are many different types of disabilities that can affect a young person at any time.
The American society is primarily catered towards the handicapable, which can make living with and managing a disability, especially as an adolescent, incredibly challenging. Fortunately, there are a myriad of support systems in place to help teens with disabilities in the US, you just need to know where to look.
Learning disabilities are now known as neurologically based processing problems. Leaning disabilities can affect all areas of a young person’s life. Basic skills such as reading, writing and math can be much more challenging for teens with learning disabilities. They can also have an affect on more abstract life skills such as time planning, organization, attention, abstract reasoning, as well as affect a child’s short-term memory. This can, not only affect one’s academics, but also impact relationships with friends and family.
One of the first steps in helping a teen with a potential disability is to obtain a proper diagnosis. Understanding what your teen is facing can be beneficial in helping to navigate treatment. This can also help to assure securing the correct support and help a parent set up a support team to help provide adequate emotional, physical, mental and educational accommodations.
While as a parent it is common to feel the desire to help your child, it is important to realize that some guidance may be more helpful when coming from a professional. There are a plethora of professional support options available to work with teens, parents, and even whole family units surround a teen with a disability. Some aspects of managing or helping your teen with a disability will simply be out of your scope of expertise as their parent. Relying on professionals that have extensive experience can behoove both the teenager as well as the parents.
The most common type of educational support available is obtaining an Individualized Education Plan, IEP, for your teenager. These can be incredibly helpful for young people struggling with various disabilities. Every adolescent is entitled to an education, regardless of his or her distinct needs. Any young person with an IEP will be provided with a case manager to help navigate the personal educational needs and work with the young person’s educators to assure they are being met.
Adolescence is a time of growth in a young persons life, and is notoriously known to be challenging. For young people with disabilities, adding the additional layer of challenge can affect one’s mental heath, if left unaddressed. It is essential to help your teen create a solid foundation of healthy habits during their teenage years. The reality is that every person is different, and though some disabilities may be more severe than others, understanding that your teen may require a different level of support, and/ or a differentiated education plan can help him or her develop a healthy sense of self. Additionally, helping a teen learn how to identify and locate help and support he or she needs is a beneficial life-long lesson.
For Information and Support
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact an individual for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family.
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- New to LD. (2015). Retrieved March 3, 2019, from http://ldaamerica.org/support/new-to-ld
- Pierangelo, R. (2010, July 20). Prevalence of Learning Disabilities. Retrieved March 2, 2019, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/prevalence-learning-disabilities/
- Specific Learning Disabilities. (2015). Retrieved March 3, 2019, from http://www.asha.org/advocacy/federal/idea/04-law-specific-ld/