Learning Disabilities in Children: A Parent’s Guide
Reading, writing, and math difficulties may indicate that your child has a learning disability. It is our goal to help you understand the symptoms of various learning problems and how to acquire a good diagnosis.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities estimates that one out of every five American youngsters suffers from difficulties with attention and learning. Children who have problems reading and writing, shun school, and have trouble speaking may have a learning disability.
Learn about the various forms of learning difficulties, as well as how to get diagnosed and treated.
Children’s Telltale Signs of a Learning Disability
There are a lot of smart kids with learning problems. To disguise their weaknesses, they typically exploit their strengths, such as relying on a great aural recall to avoid reading or taking notes. Learning disorders, on the other hand, often show their symptoms well before youngsters are supposed to be able to read or write.
- Any youngster who has difficulties with rhymes, singing the alphabet song, or pronouncing words may have a learning disability; this is especially true of children who fall in the age range of 3-to-5. Some other symptoms that a child may have a learning disability:
- Word mispronunciation (e.g., “ospital” or “pithostel” instead of “hospital”)
- Vocabulary insertions (for example, “The man developed into a soft, curly “board.”
- sloppy handwriting
- Copying shapes, letters, and words is difficult.
- After the age of seven, children begin to reverse letters and words (e.g., using a “b” instead of a “d” or writing “was” instead of “saw”).
As a first step, you should rule out the possibility that your child has a vision impairment, which might create reading difficulties, as well. Determine whether or not your child needs glasses by a developmental optometrist, and always seek a professional’s advice.
The term “learning impairment” is used to represent a wide range of learning difficulties in children. There are other forms of learning disorders, and a kid may suffer from more than one of the six described here.
Children with dyslexia do not reverse letters because they have a visual issue, as is commonly believed. The capacity of a learner to read and spell is closely linked to his or her command of the English language. Dyslexics may have difficulties with reading, spelling, and writing, as well as difficulties with language comprehension and expression. These difficulties can be severe or subtle and difficult to identify. “
At least 80% of all learning problems are attributed to reading difficulties, and boys are more likely to be diagnosed with dyslexia. Girls are more likely to sit quietly in their chairs, but boys are more likely to engage in disruptive conduct that draws attention to their learning difficulties.
Dyscalculia is a term used to describe problems in the areas of computation, memorization, and the understanding of concepts such as time and money. There are many different indicators of dyscalculia, and they all alter throughout time. Youngsters as young as two years old may have difficulty learning to count, while children in elementary school are more likely to confuse numbers and misalign columns. Functional skills such as playing board games, counting money, or measuring objects are all affected by this sort of learning disability.
Dysgraphia is a disorder that causes problems in writing. Putting thoughts on paper, combining vision and pencil movements, and creating letters and words are all part of the handwriting process. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a child’s ability to write, spell, and count. To put it another way, an unreadable handwriting, an assortment of letter cases, and/or an unwieldy conglomeration of sentences and paragraphs may be perceived as a written page. Spelling and other fine motor abilities may be problematic for children with this sort of learning disability.
Deficiency in Auditory Processing
A child’s auditory processing issue makes it difficult for him or her to comprehend auditory information that is relevant to language development and reading comprehension. The ability to tell between similar sounds and words, as well as difficulty following instructions and recognizing essential sounds (such as the teacher’s voice) in the background, can all be signs that a child is having difficulty learning (such as paper crinkling).
Disturbance in Visual Processing
For persons who have visual processing impairments, reading, writing, and math might be difficult. People with poor visual figure-ground discrimination, for example, may have difficulty detecting visual similarities and differences (such as in words or patterns), as well as finding objects on a table or words on a page. Spelling and word sequencing are two further symptoms of visual processing impairment.
Knowing If You’ve Got A Learning Disability
When a kid isn’t working to his or her full capacity, teachers will often recommend him or her for educational testing. Most often, a student’s academic performance falls short of what is expected of them (such as reading at grade level) because of a disability.
Specific learning disorders can be diagnosed using a variety of tests and exams. If they like, parents can also pay for a neuropsychologist to conduct their own private assessment and make a diagnosis. Together with an audiologist, a speech and language pathologist can diagnose dyslexia or auditory processing disorder. If an occupational therapy evaluation reveals any of the following issues, it may be time to seek professional help.
The Process of Obtaining Assistance with Learning Disabilities
The severity of learning disabilities varies, as do the sensory systems (such as vision, motor, or auditory) and functions they affect (like speaking, reading, or writing). You may want to ask your school for a team of experts from the fields of psychology, physical therapy, speech pathology, and education in the event that you find your child is having difficulties in school. Alternatively, they can have their child privately assessed by a neuropsychologist for an independent assessment.
Interventions for the child’s diverse learning requirements may be best handled by a multidisciplinary team. In order to improve articulation, reading comprehension, and the ability to discriminate sounds, speech and language pathologists can offer both classroom tactics and direct therapies. Occupational therapy services can help normalize a child’s sensory experiences by enhancing the child’s underlying capacity to handle sensory input and making ‘minor sensory smart’ changes to tasks and surroundings.
School-based occupational therapists may engage with the classroom instructor to establish three techniques to aid students: accommodations (exploring keyboard alternatives to handwriting), adjustments (allowing oral rather than written reporting), and remediation (skill training with visual cueing or self-monitoring.). Early detection and intervention are crucial for kids to reach their full potential.