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A 15 yr old who is learning disabled

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Staff Alumni
My friend's daughter, who is a delightful and bright girl, has been ridiculed and mocked because she has trouble grasping what ppl are saying, and might answer in a way that is off base...she is broken hearted that she has such social issues because of her LD and that there are girls who pretend to be her friends, and mock her when she has diffficulties...what do you think she should do when the kids make fun of her, and should she say anything to new friends about her difficulties...all opinions are welcome...thanks, Jackie
Firstly it sounds like this little girl is very lucky to have someone like u that cares about her so much, thats something she should definantly b grateful for!
School can b an awful place when ur not considered 'normal'. I definatly dont think she should hide her disability from new friends that she makes. It may b hard for her to tell them, and it may make it more difficult to make friends, but its a way to filter the kind of friends that arent worth it. If they r shalow people they will not accept her and she doesnt need them as friends. If they befriend her despite her LD, then they r the sort of people she needs in her life. It could b tough because aceptance and popularity are huge things in schol childrens minds, but i think in the long run she will b better off.
If the kids r making rude comments towards her then she realy jsut needs to learn to ignore them. She needs to surround herself with people who accept her. In turn this will give her high self esteem and she will have the power to ignore the rude comments.
I hope ive been of help...Let us kno how she goes!


Staff Alumni
Hi HELPLESS...her mother and I have told her almost the same thing as you said, but of course it is still breaking our hearts to see her go through this...she is so wise and insightful, and knows that this phase of immaturity on her peers' parts is temporary, but it does hurt her so much to go through this...we have encouraged her to get close to another group of girls who seem more together, but she is so hesitant to trust because of how the other girls have treated her...gosh I wish I could intervene directly, but all I can do is comfort and advise...and take her shopping-retail therapy, the cure for almost anything in a teenager's eyes...thanks for your valuable response, and i will keep you posted...big hugs, Jackie


Well-Known Member
Could you maybe encourage her to join some sort of out of school activities? That way she would find friends outside of school, friends with similar interests as her, and then even if things get rough at school, she has another group of friends elsewhere that she can talk to.

Also, having extra curricular activities can boost self confidence too.

With regards to her telling her new friends, that is really up to her, i.e. whether she feels comfortable enough, or trusts them, or is confident enough in her own ability to explain them, etc.

I also suggest that maybe her and her mum go and have a chat with a teacher. Teacher's can do a lot to help if they think it is necessary, i.e. maybe doing PSHE lessons on learning disabilities (I am not talking anything like identifying your friends daughter and highlighting her needs, I am talking just a general overview of LDs and how they can affect people socially and academically, etc, and the teacher might also give them projects, or something, to research into it, etc), they might also provide a room where she can go if things are getting too much.

These girls are probably bullying out of both ignorance and fear, and hopefully, if the school can try and educate them, in a general manner, it could help her.

It is unfortunate that in todays society people are still so ignorant that children with SEN are still the targets of bullies (well, that anyone is the target of bullies). In a lot of places the children are now growing up more tolerant and accepting and educated about it. It is such a shame that someone as clearly as intelligent as she is, is subject to pain caused by ignorance.

I really really hope that this starts to change soon and that she can find some decent friends.

good luck to you all


Staff Alumni
Hi S...thanks for the thoughtful reply...the teachers and the resource room teacher are aware of the situation, as the 15 yr old is quite good at advocating for herself when it comes to adults...it is the kids she has trouble with...and yes, outside activities are a good thing...she is in an art class and she plays soccer..we will keep trying to help her find her way with the social issues that plague many of us...thanks again, Jackie
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