October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. This month is an opportunity to raise awareness for the one in five students in the U.S. who have a learning disability, including 2.5 million who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia and six million who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
I’ve seen countless patients with learning disabilities come through my practice. I know the stress their parents feel. I know the stress they feel. Having a month dedicated to raising awareness about learning disabilities helps normalize them. As diagnosis accuracy improves, more and more parents are discovering their child has a learning disability or, as author and parenting activist Debbie Reber puts it, is “differently wired.”
Debbie Reber’s son Asher was four years old before they started thinking seriously about seeking a diagnosis for his behavior. She knew he was gifted intellectually, but he also had intense tantrums and difficulty regulating his emotions. He was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder and ADHD among other things.
While on the journey with her son, Debbie realized she desperately needed support from other parents with similar kids. She felt alone in trying to figure out how to best parent Asher. This is why founded started TiLT Parenting, a podcast, and a community for parents of differently wired kids.
Her book Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, greatly impacted me and my understanding of children with everything from learning disabilities to ADHD to autism. I recently interviewed Debbie on my podcast and you can listen to our full conversation here.
Debbie strongly believes differently wired children are exactly who they are supposed to be. They are not broken. And once parents realize this and are able to really get to know who their child is, everything changes for the better for the parents and the child.
Debbie has so much wisdom to share, and I strongly recommend listening to our full conversation on my podcast, but below are my top three takeaways from our conversation. If you are the parent of a differently wired child, I hope these encourage you. If you know someone who is the parent of a differently wired child, please consider sharing this with them and learning from it yourself. We could all use more understanding in the area of children with learning disabilities and ADHD.