The problems associated with a specific learning disorder can often extend far beyond difficulties with academic skills, and the psychological effects can be far reaching.

Having a learning disorder or difficulty can be very challenging.  Not only does it affect a student's academic performance, it can also have a long lasting effect on a student's emotional and psychological development.  Apart from the everyday struggles with classroom learning, many students with learning disorders report higher levels of frustration, anxiety and stress.  These students may also have a lower self-opinion, feel sad and depressed, lack motivation to attend school or experience persistent social difficulties.  While not all children with a specific learning disorder will experience mental health issues, there is evidence that suggests that children with learning difficulties are more vulnerable to experiencing a lower self-esteem along with a higher rate of anxiety and depression.

Many children will experience short periods of frustration and anxiety throughout their schooling, particularly as they transition from primary to secondary school, or when dealing with normal life demands. However, for some children this extends for a much longer period of time and may require additional support. For children experiencing a mental health problem alongside a learning disorder, it is important that they receive the necessary level of support and intevention with a Psychologist or suitable therapist.  If you feel that your child (or yourself) may require extra support to develop their emotional well-being, a good place to start is to speak to your family doctor (GP) or the school psychologist.  They should be able to refer you to a Psychologist or suitable therapist for support. 

Counselling at DSF

DSF offers several options for support including individualised counselling and a group program aimed at improving the self esteem and resiliency of primary school-aged children.
  • To access individualised counselling at DSF, initial contact should be made through our South Perth Office.  Medicare rebates are available with a valid referral and GP mental health care plan.
  • To access our group program, an expression of interest can be sent via our events page.  Please check our calendar of events for details of our next group program.

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