Understand the symptoms of their condition.
To be a really caring and supportive friend or family member, you should take the time to research a bit about their condition and learn what exactly it is. Find out what causes it and what their symptoms are. Take the time to really understand it instead of making assumptions based on stereotypes. This will not only help you to better support them, but also show that you really care about them as a person. Help them find tools, like a weighted pencil, that you find can help with their learning, in or out of school.
Offer to help with basic errands and chores.
Sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference when it comes to helping a loved one with a learning disability. If you notice that they are struggling to keep up with their daily routine, offer to help out with cooking, grocery shopping, or cleaning, for example. Helping with these small things will allow them more time to take care of their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Plan a relaxing social activity for them.
Spending time with people who care about them is very important for anyone with a learning disability. Just offering your company will mean a lot to someone who struggles with this kind of disability or cognitive problem. Find out what type of social outings and activities they are interested in, and plan one at a time that you know they will enjoy it. They will deeply appreciate your support and enjoy spending time with you one-on-one.
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with a psychological disability or condition, you may start to notice that their behaviour is different from what you have come to expect. It’s important that you don’t judge them or push them to behave like they did when they were healthy. Having a learning disability or other cognitive condition can be very stressful, and if that is compounded with further expectations from the people around them, a patient can become overwhelmed very easily. Try to have as much compassion as possible when dealing with these issues, and take a deep breath if things start to get challenging. Remember, this is not about you.
These are just a few ways you can support a friend or family member who is struggling with a learning disability. While it can be challenging, your loved one will deeply appreciate your support and having you around during this challenging time. When in doubt, just ask your loved one what they need – they will be more than happy to let you know what you can do for them.