Growing Stars workshop development
Southland parents and children will soon have workshops offered to them to help deal with the anxieties of having children with learning difficulties.
Since April, Dyslexia Support South co-ordinator Chris Cole has been working to set up a training course to help parents.
Having children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties could be quite difficult and emotional for parents to manage and communicate with their children, she said.
As part of her job, Cole said it was frequently mentioned to her that parents felt there was no support for the emotional impact of raising children with learning difficulties.
Often parents were not sure how to deal with those frustrations, which prompted Cole to set up some training in Invercargill.
In November, two presenters from the Skylight Trust in Wellington, an organisation which enables young people and their families to navigate through times of trauma, loss and grief, visited Invercargill to train seven people, who will run the course for parents and children this year.
Teachers, counsellors and learning specialists were among those trained.
Once set up, it would be the first time the course was offered outside Wellington, Cole said.
“What we find is that the children are having anxiety about their learning and the parents are very anxious as well,” she said.
“As a parent it’s very difficult to see your child struggling and have low self-esteem and they [parents] want to help that.”
Part of the course would be to get parents to understand their children’s anxiety and how to manage the emotional side of things.
A lot of parents did not know their children were on the spectrum, and it was more common than people often thought, she said.
“The basis is communication and understanding what it’s like for kids,” she said.
“It’s about normalising it … their brains are wired differently.
“It’s ok to feel frustrated,” she said.
Cole hoped it would be a good pilot opportunity.
“My dream is to get funding so it can be a free course,” she said.
Cole hoped the course would be offered to parents in the first term school holidays.
Posted: 8 January 2017