A Learning Disability May Present Itself As Difficulty With One Of The Following:
- Processing information. This can be through both visual or auditory channels. It has the potential to impact reading, writing, spelling, and/or understanding spoken language.
- Organizing information. This looks like trouble prioritizing data and following instructions, and is generally reflected in difficulty with math and written language.
- Short-term or long-term memory. Some children with a learning disability have difficulty storing or retrieving information, regardless of how many times they have been exposed to it.
- Using spoken language. Difficulty processing sounds can lead to trouble using verbal language, or speaking clearly.
- The mechanics of handwriting. Poor handwriting and a pencil grip thats either too firm or too relaxed can be a sign of a learning disability, in addition to sensory processing difficulties.
Types Of Learning Disabilities
Many children may have both an LD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder , but although these disorders share similar features, ADHD is not a type of learning disability. Here are the six main types of LDs.
DyslexiaContrary to popular belief, dyslexia is a language-based disorder, not a visual problem that causes children to reverse letters. “There is a direct relationship between spoken language and a student’s ability to read and spell,” says Lois Brady, a speech and language pathologist and author of Apps for Autism. “Individuals with dyslexia may have challenges with reading, spelling, and writing in conjunction with challenges in both understanding and expressing language. Such challenges may be severe or subtle and difficult to recognize,” Brady adds. According to Sally Shaywitz, M.D., the codirector of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and author of Overcoming Dyslexia, reading disabilities are estimated to make up at least 80 percent of all LDs, and boys are more frequently identified as having dyslexia. The reason may be that girls tend to sit more quietly in their seats while boys often have behavior problems that draw attention to their learning disabilities.
How Do I Know If My Baby Has An Intellectual Disability
What are some of the signs of intellectual disability?
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Collect Information About Your Child’s Performance
Organizing information about your child will help you to monitor progress. Meet with your child’s teachers and other school personnel to understand his or her performance and attitude towards school. Observe your child’s ability to study, do homework and finish the tasks you assign at home. Keep a file of all the materials about his or her education including tests and results. Keep a record of what you notice and about your talks with professionals. This dated information will be valuable in planning for your child.
Routine Checkups Can Detect Learning Disabilities And Delays
Your pediatrician will examine your baby at birth to check vital signs and your child’s response to various stimuli. During regular checkups throughout your child’s early development, the doctor will check and monitor your child’s physical development, cognitive functioning, vision, speech, and language. Keep notes and questions to share your concerns. If there is evidence of a problem, referrals will be made at that time to early intervention specialists for evaluation and treatment if necessary.
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Focus On Dyslexia: What To Look For
Of all the possible ways in which a learning disability makes itself known, dyslexia is probably the most well-known, yet most misunderstood of all.
For children of school age, dyslexia often becomes evident as soon as reading is introduced. Dyslexia causes problems with:
- Phonemic awareness
- Phonological processing
My Child Was Diagnosed With A Learning Disability
If youre the parent or teacher of a child whos been diagnosed with a learning disability, chances are, youve felt some powerful sense of discouragement, confusion, and uncertainty surrounding the news.
Will my child or student be able to flourish in school?
Will he or she face setbacks?
How can I teach them in a way they can best understand?
Take a deep breath, dear Reader, because hope is not lost!
In the world of education, the term learning disabled is arguably the most widely misunderstood and misused. Because of the politics and haziness surrounding the term, many people reference it incorrectly, or simply dont know whats being referred to when the phrase is used.
As a parent or teacher of a child with a learning disability, its important you are equipped with a solid understanding of the basic facts and diagnostic information before you make any lifestyle changes for the child in your care.
If this all sounds overwhelming, fret not – we are here to help!
Armed with insightful information, youll be more successful in advocating for your child, and for his or her unique needs in the classroom, at home, and in their day-to-day lives.
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What Are Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities or learning disorders are umbrella terms for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation and kids with learning disabilities arent lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differentlyand this difference affects how they receive and process information.
Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.
While every kid has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disorder.
Profound And Multiple Learning Disability
A profound and multiple learning disability is when a person has a severe learning disability and other disabilities that significantly affect their ability to communicate and be independent.
Someone with PMLD may have severe difficulties seeing, hearing, speaking and moving. They may have complex health and social care needs due to these or other conditions.
People with PMLD need a carer or carers to help them with most areas of everyday life, such as eating, washing and going to the toilet.
With support, many people can learn to communicate in different ways, be involved in decisions about themselves, do things they enjoy and achieve more independence.
You can also find out more about all aspects of being a carer, including practical support, financial matters and looking after your own wellbeing in the Care and Support guide.
Page last reviewed: 06 July 2018 Next review due: 06 July 2021
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What To Do If You Think Your Child Has A Learning Disability
Finding out there is a label for what they are experiencing and getting the help they need can be life changing for kids with learning disabilities.
There are many potential reasons for problems at school, but one of the primary reasons is learning disabilities, both those already diagnosed as well as undiagnosed ones. Heres what to do if you think your child has a learning disability.
Does Your Child Have Dyscalculiaa Math Learning Disability
The 101 on identifying and managing dyscalculia.
When Lainie Filkow asked her then-eight-year-old daughter what 20 minus 20 was, she thought she was giving her an easy question. But Mollys answeronerevealed that something wasnt clicking in the way her brain processes numbers.
Red flags like this one, and the fact that Molly was falling behind her peers in math and having trouble focusing on her work at school, prompted her parents to get an assessment of her learning profile. It turns out, Molly has a learning disability in math, called dyscalculia. Its a condition in which someone of average or above-average intellect has difficulty grasping basic math concepts, and the difficulty persists for at least six months.
A preschooler or young school-age kid with dyscalculia would struggle with things like understanding how quantity relates to a number , estimating a quantity, or telling you whether eight is more or less than nine. When the child gets to grade one or two, the learning disability would manifest in struggles with basic mental arithmetic she might still need to use her fingers to add three plus one.
Typically, its pretty obvious with developmental dyscalculia because they just continue to struggle while other children pick up on fundamental concepts and skills, says Daniel Ansari, who runs the Numerical Cognition Laboratory at Western University in London, Ont.
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Learning Disabilities In Reading
There are two types of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. Reading comprehension problems occur when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.
Signs of reading difficulty include problems with:
- Letter and word recognition.
- General vocabulary skills.
What Are Learning Difficulties And Learning Disorders
Learning difficulties are problems with reading, writing and/or maths.
Learning disorders are specific, serious and ongoing problems with reading, writing and/or maths, which are diagnosed by health professionals. Dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia are examples of learning disorders.
Learning disorder is the term that health professionals use when theyre diagnosing a specific problem with reading, writing and/or maths. Some people use learning disability. These terms mean more or less the same thing.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Learning Disabilities: Ages 5
- Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds.
- Unable to blend sounds to make words.
- Confuses basic words when reading.
- Slow to learn new skills.
- Consistently misspells words and makes frequent errors.
- Trouble learning basic math concepts.
- Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences.
What You Can Do About Learning Problems
Finding out you have a learning disability can be upsetting. You might feel different from everyone else. But the truth is that learning problems are pretty common. And if your learning specialist or psychologist has figured out which one you’re facing, you’re on the right track. Now, you can start getting the help you need to do better in school.
But for this special help to really work, you’ll need to practice the new skills you’re learning. It may take a lot of effort every day. That can be a challenge, but you can do it. Soon, you’ll enjoy the results of all your hard work: more fun and success at school!
It worked for Paige. Read what she had to say:
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Support For Learning Disabilities And Family Carers
Some learning disabilities are diagnosed at birth, such as Down’s syndrome. Others might not be discovered until the child is old enough to talk or walk.
Once your child is diagnosed with a learning disability, your GP can refer you for any specialist support you may need.
You’ll begin to get to know the team of professionals who will be involved in your or your child’s care.
The right support from professionals such as GPs, paediatricians , speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, educational and clinical psychologists and social care helps people with a learning disability live as full and independent a life as possible.
Early Detection Of Learning Disabilities
Knowing the early signs of a possible learning disability can help parents get their child the help they need as soon as possible. That’s why it is important to pay attention to your child’s developmental milestones. Delays such as late walking or talking or trouble with socialization can be signs of a learning disorder in toddlers and preschoolers.
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Getting Help For Children With Learning Disabilities
When it comes to learning disabilities, its not always easy to know what to do and where to find help. Turning to specialists who can pinpoint and diagnose the problem is, of course, important. You will also want to work with your childs school to make accommodations for your child and get specialized academic help. But dont overlook your own role. You know your child better than anyone else, so take the lead in looking into your options, learning about new treatments and services, and overseeing your childs education.
Learn the specifics about your childs learning disability. Learn about your childs type of learning disability. Find out how the disability affects the learning process and what cognitive skills are involved. Its easier to evaluate learning techniques if you understand how the learning disability affects your child.
Research treatments, services, and new theories. Along with knowing about the type of learning disability your child has, educate yourself about the most effective treatment options available. This can help you advocate for your child at school and pursue treatment at home.
Pursue treatment and services at home. Even if the school doesnt have the resources to treat your childs learning disability optimally, you can pursue these options on your own at home or with a therapist or tutor.
Learning Disabilities In Language
Language and communication learning disabilities involve the ability to understand or produce spoken language. Language is also considered an output activity because it requires organizing thoughts in the brain and calling upon the right words to verbally explain or communicate something.
Signs of a language-based learning disorder involve problems with verbal language skills, such as the ability to retell a story, the fluency of speech, and the ability to understand the meaning of words, directions, and the like.
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Recognize Learning Disabilities As Basic Skills Are Taught
Children continue to develop at different rates in primary school years. By the time they enter third grade, children should be able to read simple chapter books at grade level, write simple sentences, add and subtract, solve simple word problems, and begin to multiply.
Students may not perform these tasks with complete accuracy. It is normal for some letter reversals and mirror writing to appear in a child’s work through first and second grade. Most students will learn to correct these errors with instruction, and by third grade these errors should be infrequent.
Early Intervention Is Key
I talked to a lot of parents about what we were dealing with in the beginning, hoping for any advice or insights those who had been through something similar might be able to share.
I was surprised by how many parents seemed to want to discount the idea of learning disorders entirely.
Several of the people I spoke to said learning disorders were just the school systems way of keeping kids in boxes, or explaining why some couldnt succeed within their system.
This was surprising to me, especially because the research on learning disorders is so extensive .
And while some parents may think their kids will eventually catch up on their own, the research has found that when learning disorders are involved, the learning gap between kids who have them and their peers persists without intervention.
Early intervention is key, Lauren said. The longer a parent waits for a child to receive the needed support, the harder it will be to make up for lost time, both academically and emotionally.
Myszak explains that children are generally very aware of how they stack up against their peers, and that when they continue to struggle, they may develop low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
A Look At The Numbers
While students can have an SLD and not be in Special Education, looking at the numbers in terms of SLD Special Education eligibility shows a snapshot of how prevalent SLD is. During the 2018-2019 school year, there were 8,909 students between the ages of 3 and 5 eligible for Special Education under the educational condition of SLD. Similarly, there were 2,377,739 students ages 6-21 receiving Special Education services under the educational condition of SLD.
At that time, there were 815,010 students ages of 3-5 and 6,315,228 students ages 6-11 receiving Special Education services throughout the United States. That is a total of 7,130,238 students ages 3-21. This translates to 1.09% of students ages 3-5 and 37.65% of students ages 6-21 receiving Special Education services qualified for those services due to a learning disability. Overall, the educational condition of SLD was an eligibility for 33.47% of students eligible for Special Education.
Have Your Child Tested
Ask the school administration to provide a comprehensive educational evaluation. This will include interviews, direct observation, a review of your child’s educational and medical history, a test that will measure your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and conferences with professionals who work with your child. Either you or the school can request the evaluation, but it is only given with a parent’s written permission.
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What Are The Causes Of Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities can be present at birth for example, if a person has a medical, physical or neurological condition that makes it harder for them to process certain pieces of information.
Sometimes, learning disabilities are caused by external influences like someones experiences or the way they grow up. They can run in families.
Exactly What Is A Learning Disorder
According to social worker and educational advocate Monica Mandell of MLM Advocacy, learning disorders, or disabilities, are impairments of the psychological processes involved in learning.
It can affect the way a person learns how to read, write, do math, or any other learning process, she said.
Before going through this with my daughter, I hadnt realized there were a variety of potential learning disorders a person could be living with. But the Learning Disabilities Association of America identifies several.
Jessica Myszak, PhD, child psychologist and director of The Help and Healing Center, explains there are three learning disorders that are commonly diagnosed:
- Dyslexia. Symptoms include difficulty in accurately reading words.
- Dysgraphia. Children have significant difficulty expressing themselves in writing. They may sit for hours trying to get through writing a few sentences, or their writing may be really difficult to read due to poor spelling.
- Dyscalculia. Symptoms include difficulty understanding numbers, memorizing simple arithmetic facts, or being able to reason through word problems.
The most common learning disability is dyslexia, affecting approximately 80 to 90 percent of all learning disabilities, said Jill Lauren, MA, a learning specialist and author of the book Thats Like Me!
It is estimated that as much as 20 percent of the population is dyslexic, she said.
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