Description of educational experiences and challenges faced by parents of children diagnosed with learning disability

Children with a learning disability and the problems they encounter


  • Erhan Çetin Ankara University
  • Mustafa Ceylan
  • Hasan Ferşat Taşlıbeyaz


Learning disability (LD) is a developmental and neurobiological disorder frequently witnessed in childhood, resulting from the impairment of one or more academic skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and mathematical reasoning. Although the most common group among individuals with special needs is individuals with a diagnosis of LD, the national literature includes a limited number of studies conducted with the families of the students in this group. The present study aims to explore the difficulties experienced by students diagnosed with LD in their education lives based on their parents’ views. The study is a descriptive study employing the qualitative research design. The study group consisted of parents (six mothers, two fathers) selected using the criterion sampling method, one of the purposive sampling methods. As a data collection tool, a semi-structured interview form was developed by the authors and administered to the families of children with LD to explore their children's education and their problems. The interviews were conducted face-to-face by the first author. The analysis of the generated data was conducted using the inductive approach. Based on the study results, four main themes, 10 sub-themes related to main themes, and 32 categories related to the sub-themes were formed. The findings revealed that parents faced problems regarding their children's school life and teachers, and this negatively affected their family life. Among the parents’ views on the diagnosis process, who made the first diagnosis and the effects of this process on family life came to the fore. In addition, it was revealed that after the diagnosis, the educational life of the children was adversely affected and there were different situations regarding the educational life of the children with LD compared to the children with normal development. Furthermore, the participants emphasized their expectations regarding their family life and the educational life of their children. The study findings were discussed based on the literature and recommendations were made for future studies.