Addressing Emotional Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities

Instructor: Abigail Cook
When a student is diagnosed with a learning disability, teachers and parents often focus on the academic challenges that arise. This lesson will discuss how these students may be emotionally affected and how teachers can help.

Learning Disabilities and Emotional Needs

Learning disabilities affect students in a variety of ways. Oftentimes, teachers and parents are concerned about the academic challenges they may face but don't always consider the emotional issues that a student may experience. Some of the common emotional challenges students with learning disabilities experience may include:

  • Poor motivation
  • Feeling sad or angry
  • Acting out inappropriately
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of anxiety

When these issues are not addressed, a student's life at home and at school becomes even more difficult. Some students with learning disabilities may be so affected that they start to fail their classes, get into trouble, or drop out of school. It is important that teachers are aware of the signs when a student is struggling emotionally so that they can implement strategies to help.

Teaching Strategies

Teachers have the ability to provide support to students with learning disabilities that may help change some of the emotional issues they experience. Let's take a look at some specific things you might try when dealing with a student who is showing signs of an emotional struggle.


Students with learning disabilities need to understand what their disability is called, what it means, and how it affects them. Students should become the experts in their own learning, understanding how they learn best and what accommodations they require to succeed. When teachers sit down and educate students one-on-one, students may feel empowered as they are given responsibility for their own learning.

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