Learning Disabilities are a challenge not only for parents in Japan, but in every country around the world.  It affects all ages, all socio-economic levels, and all cultures. It seems like the world stops for every parent when they discover their children have difficulties in learning, sitting still, or completing their schoolwork.  It’s painful because the truth is, when our children hurt, we as their parents and family members hurt.

Learning Disabilities is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems.  Although Learning Disabilities vary from person to person, the skills most affected are seen when reading, writing, speaking, reasoning and doing math.

When those with Learning Disabilities have trouble learning, they can easily receive and accept the ungodly “LIE” that they are not smart. This can open doors to more ungodly lies, and soon, the entire family becomes infected like an “virus” infects our health that can exchange joy and hope for anxiety, depression and hopelessness.

The “key” to helping someone with a Learning Disability is to provide individualized help, identify strengths to teach through, and having God’s “truth” through His Word received not only in the mind, but also consumed and known in one’s heart.

I have found in almost 40 years of diagnosing, teaching, training, and ministering to clients of all ages and their families, having God’s “Kingdom Perspective” with Learning Disabilities and unique learning needs is vital.  Without God’s perspective, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the influx of information this world brings forth through the Internet, with books and in the variety of programs.

I am reminded that God created your children, and chose you as their parents at the beginning of time.  God fashioned your children with “fearful and wonderful” perfection for His high calling.  He has secured your children’s future, for He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans that are not evil, but good, to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  God does not make mistakes…

Perhaps we have grown angry that our children have unique needs.  This is a universal response when our children have difficulties other children their ages do not.  We ask God, “Why did you do this to our family?”  We begin to bargain with God by saying, “If I do this, will you take the difficulties away?”  We become guilty because we don’t know how to help our children, and our frustration makes it so we lose hope, or pray to wake up from this terrible nightmare.   We ask God if He hears our cries and prayers.  These are very real reactions and responses when our children are having challenges.

When we question God, we resolve to the Truth that God is sovereign.  In Job 38:2-7 God says, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?  Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me!  Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth!  Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know?  Or who stretched the line on it?   On what were it’s bases sunk?

Or who laid it cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

We may never understand “why” God allows disabilities, or difficult times, but we do know the “Who” is above and sovereign over all things.  We know if we believe in His sovereignty, then this will become the uncompromising “cornerstone” of our faith.  We realize that God what He is doing.  We realize “man plans his steps, but God guides our paths.”  Only with increasing faith in God, can we move forward trusting that God’s ways are higher, and in our weaknesses, the fullness of His glory shines and pierces the darkness.  In Psalm 139:15-16 God says, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; and I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  God takes what the world sees as weak, and shames the proud.   Your challenges and difficulties are not by chance, but will be used to show His glory.

The truth begins, knowing that those with unique learning needs are created in a unique and different way.  Finding out our children’s unique ways is necessary. We need to become detectives and observe our children to discover their strengths, gifts and talents.  Perhaps it may not be in the typical subjects taught in school, but are they compassionate, loving, creative and artistic.  Are they athletic, or socially embracing.  Maybe they have gifts in dance, song, memory, and in encouraging others.  Maybe they are prayer warriors and love the Lord with all their soul, heart and mind.

We become awakened by His Word and see that our children are created in God’s image.  Our hope is not deferred.  We praise them, and encourage them, and teach them through their strengths to find… they can become successful.  We see that with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Matthew 19:26).  We see, that God hears our every prayer, and truly is, Jehovah Jireh… the God who provides.

Article written for CHEA magazine in June 2013
Click to download article in Japanese