Coping with a friend's learning disability can be challenge, but it need not be overwhelming. Learn ways to cope with your feelings and theirs and to keep your friendship healthy and positive for years to come.
When Your Friend Learns About the Learning Disability
- Understand that your friend's behavior may change toward you. Try not to take it personally.
- Understand your friend's frustration will most likely improve over time.
- Tell him his disability does not affect your friendship. You still want to be friends.
Your Friend May Not Understand his Disability
Coping with the Disability - Strive for Normal Relationships and Routines
- Continue favorite activities.
- Treat your friend as your equal because he is.
- Laugh together, tell jokes, see the humor in everyday life.
- Show others your commitment to your friend by treating him the same at school and in public.
- Be loyal to your friend when he's not present. If others make fun of him, nicely remind them it's not cool.
- If your friend is down or wants to give up, encourage him. Remind him that no matter what the problem is, he can overcome it - It just may take longer.
- Remind him we all have differences. Diversity is a strength.
Understand Your Friend's Parents May Be Stressed about the Disability
Take Care of Yourself - Staying True to Yourself is ImportantJust as in all friendships, having a friend with a learning disability can be difficult at times. During those times, it is important for you to take care of your own needs.
- Continue spending time with other friends.
- If your friend starts having behavior problems, hanging out with kids who use drugs or get in trouble, consider talking to a school counselor about it. Your friend will need a counselor's help. You may need to distance yourself and find other friends if your pal doesn't change. A counselor can help you cope with your own feelings too.
- Avoid negative peer pressure from any of your friends - Learning disabled or not.
- Continue to make positive friendships for yourself.