How Can I Tell If My Child Has A Learning Disability Or If The Problem Is Just Typical Ups And Downs
A child with a learning disability will have struggles that dont get better with standard teaching or extra help. The DSM-5 has four criteria for a diagnosis of specific learning disorder: symptoms persist for at least 6 months despite extra help or targeted instruction affected skills are below age expectations and cause impairment in academic, occupational or everyday activities, as confirmed by testing and comprehensive clinical assessment problem starts during the school-age years and problem not due to other conditions .
What Every Parent Should Know
Children with specific learning disabilities are eligible for special education services or accommodations at school under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act external icon and an anti-discrimination law known as Section 504.external icon The U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letterpdf iconexternal icon providing clarification to both parents and practitioners about ensuring a high-quality education for children with specific learning disabilities, including children with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.
Tips For Parents Of Children With Learning Disabilities
Learn about learning disabilities. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child. See the list of resources and organizations at the end of this article.
The most common treatment for learning disabilities is special education. Specially trained educators may perform a diagnostic educational evaluation assessing the child’s academic and intellectual potential and level of academic performance. Once the evaluation is complete, the basic approach is to teach learning skills by building on the child’s abilities and strengths while correcting and compensating for disabilities and weaknesses. Other professionals such as speech and language therapists also may be involved. Some medications may be effective in helping the child learn by enhancing attention and concentration. Psychological therapies may also be used.
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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.
Learning Disabilities In Writing
Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing or the mental activity of comprehending information. Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters. Expressive writing disability indicates a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.
Symptoms of a written language learning disability revolve around the act of writing. They include problems with:
- Neatness and consistency of writing.
- Accurately copying letters and words.
- Spelling consistency.
- Writing organization and coherence.
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Diagnosis And Testing For Learning Disabilities And Disorders
Since diagnosing a learning disability isnt always easy, dont assume you know what your childs problem is, even if the symptoms seem clear. Its important to have your child tested and evaluated by a qualified professional. That said, you should trust your instincts. If you think something is wrong, listen to your gut. If you feel that a teacher or doctor is minimizing your concerns, seek a second opinion. Dont let anyone tell you to wait and see or dont worry about it if you see your child struggling. Regardless of whether or not your childs problems are due to a learning disability, intervention is needed. You cant go wrong by looking into the issue and taking action.
Keep in mind that finding someone who can help may take some time and effort. Even experts mix up learning disabilities with ADHD and other behavioral problems sometimes. You may have to look around a bit or try more than one professional. In the meantime, try to be patient, and remember that you wont always get clear answers. Try not to get too caught up in trying to determine the label for your childs disorder. Leave that to the professionals. Focus instead on steps you can take to support your child and address their symptoms in practical ways.
What Are Learning Difficulties
Approximately 4 million children and teenagers have a learning difficulty, and many of them cope with more than one type of difficulty. Learning difficulties, which are neurological challenges, affect the way the brain receives, processes, stores, and analyzes information. Because a learning difficulty often affects an individual’s ability to develop reading, writing, and math skills, a learning difficulty is typically recognized and diagnosed while an individual is in school. However, some of those affected by a learning difficulty may not have it discovered or diagnosed until they are in college or after they have joined the workforce. Others never have their condition diagnosed and may continue to experience difficulty processing information as they progress through life.
Learning difficulties indicate an individual’s need for alternative learning methods. They are not indicative of intelligence level and are not the same as intellectual difficultieslearning challenges that result from sensory handicaps developmental delays or cultural, economic, or environmental disadvantages.
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Symptoms Of Learning Disability
Learning disorders affect how a person understands, remembers and responds to new information. Once a child has entered school, signs and symptoms of difficulty include the following:
- Listening or paying attention to teachers, peers
- Staying organized
- Understanding new words or concepts
- Learning how to read
- Loss of energy and interest while writing
- Writing down thoughts in a logical sequence
- Understanding Math concepts
- Demonstrates a change in performance depending on subject or increased level of responsibility
- Hand-eye coordination
- Sensitivity to loud and/or repetitive noises
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia ,intellectual disability and ADHD are common learning disabilities identified in school-age children. Although it is typical to demonstrate some of the above mentioned, signs/symptoms, consistent inattention, unfocused activity, impulsivity, and anxiety will interfere with and reduce the quality of a childs performance and overall success in school.
As previously stated, learning disorders do not go away, but strategies to work around them can make them less of a problem.
The National Adult Literacy Survey, 1992, found that 58% of adult with self-reported learning disabilities lacked the basic functional reading and writing skills needed to experience job and academic success . Most of these adults have not graduated high school due to the failure of the school system to recognize and/or accommodate their specific learning disability.
Signs Of Learning Disabilities You Should Not Ignore
If the signs of learning disability are recognised early, the right kind of help can be given, offering the child an opportunity to develop the skills they will need for everyday life in the future. It is often parents who first become aware that something does not seem quite right and are able to alert teachers and health professionals so that potential problems are recognised. If you are concerned that your child may have learning difficulties, London has a good provision of professionals who can help. Here are some of the common signs for learning disabilities you should look out for.
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Specialised Learning Support For Children With Learning Disorders
If your child is diagnosed with a learning disorder, its important to get support for your child as soon as possible.
With this support, your child can improve their skills and start to make good progress with their learning. This will help your child stay engaged with school and learning.
The best support for your child will depend on your childs learning disorder. You can talk to your childs teacher or other professionals working with your child to find out what will work best for your child and your family.
At school, support might include:
- more intensive or frequent work with a learning support officer to support your childs individual needs
- changes to the learning environment for example, your child might learn better if they sit closer to front of the classroom or away from distractions
- changes to learning and assessment activities for example, your child might be able to have extra time to do assessment tasks or exams
- assistive technology there are many devices and software that can make things easier for your child by turning text to speech, checking spelling, predicting words, presenting information visually and so on.
Outside school, you could look into support like specialist coaching or tutoring in your childs specific areas of difficulty.
Warning Signs Of A Learning Disability
Learning disabilities look very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but cant understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders.
Its not always easy to identify learning disabilities. Because of the wide variations, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. If youre aware of what they are, youll be able to catch a learning disorder early and quickly take steps to get your child help.
The following checklist lists some common red flags for learning disorders. Remember that children who dont have learning disabilities may still experience some of these difficulties at various times. The time for concern is when there is a consistent unevenness in your childs ability to master certain skills.
How Do You Teach Dysgraphia
A specialist can help determine the right accommodations for your student, but here are some general strategies to try.
What Are The Signs Of A Learning Disability In Adults
A learning disability is typically defined as a difficulty or inability to take in and process information in ways that most people do naturally. As a result, learning disabilities can lead to a variety of problems with functioning in everyday life. While this problem is often associated with children, many adults struggle with learning disabilities as well. Some of the most common signs of a learning disability in adults include an inability to concentrate, poor memory, difficulty reading and/or writing and difficulty in relationships.
An inability to concentrate and difficulty retaining information is a very common sign of a learning disability in adults. Individuals with this problem often find it hard to focus on the material they are reading or listening to. As a result, they are usually unable to absorb as much information as a person without a learning disability. Since concentrating and digesting information are vital to learning, this inability often leads to other problems that can affect multiple areas in a person’s life.
Learning Disorder Going Undetected In Kidsyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
Dyslexia, a learning disorder in children, is one such condition which has not been identified with schools remaining shut. According to experts, it is time to revive awareness campaigns to facilitate early detection of dyslexia by correctly identifying the symptoms to ensure timely treatment.
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Description Of Learning Disorders
Learning disorders are, simply put, problems with learning. While you may have heard of the widely known example, Dyslexia, learning disorders are not just about how a child reads and writes. There are a multitude of disorders that can cause problems in reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking. Importantly, a learning disorder does not equate to cognitive impairment. It does not mean that your child is lazy, unmotivated, or dumb.
Children with learning disorders are just as intelligent as their peers. However, due to different brain wiring, these children may need alternative learning tools that will address their unique learning styles. While learning disorders cannot be cured in the traditional sense, children have a much better chance of success if they can understand their setbacks, promote strengths, and address challenges early on.
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How Learning And Intellectual Difficulties Differ
An intellectual difficulty, listed in the DSM under intellectual disability, is characterized by significant limitations to intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior with onset before age 18. Generally, an IQ test score below 75 can be said to indicate a limitation to intellectual function. With an intellectual difficulty, adaptive behaviorconceptual, social, and practical skillsmay also be limited.
An individual with a learning difficulty usually does not experience these same limitations. Those with learning difficulties may often exhibit above-average intelligence, as determined by an IQ test, and they may have developed strategies on their own to either hide or cope with a learning difficulty.
Though neither intellectual nor learning difficulties can be cured, awareness and a variety of supportive techniques can enhance and improve the condition of an individual with either difficulty.
What Is The Difference Between Dysgraphia And Dyspraxia
dysgraphia: Both of these learning differences can affect fine motor skills and impact writing. An issue that can impact fine and gross motor skills. Trouble with fine motor skills in particular can affect handwriting. Dyspraxia also typically affects a persons conception of how his body moves in space.
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Symptoms Of Learning Disorders In Toddlers And Children
Learning disorders affect around 1 in 7 children, making their prevalence wide. Being able to recognize the early indicators is helpful in getting your child help as early as possible. Early intervention can put a stop to compensatory habits. The sooner a learning disorder is diagnosed and treated, the better chance your child has to succeed in school and in life.
In Early Elementary School Look For:
- Problems with rapid letter recognition and with recognizing familiar words by sight. Difficulties learning phonemes and sounding out words.
- Problems forming letters and numbers. Later, problems with basic spelling and grammar.
- Difficulties learning math skills and doing math calculations.
- Difficulty remembering facts.
- Difficulty organizing materials , information, and/or concepts. Losing or forgetting material, or doing work and forgetting to turn it in.
- Not understanding oral instructions. Difficulty expressing oneself.
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How Does A Learning Disability Affect A Persons Life
People with learning disabilities do not learn certain skills as quickly as other people and may therefore need extra help in certain aspects of their lives. The specific skills in question will depend upon the type of disability. People with mild learning disabilities may live alone, travel independently, and work.
They may not require any support from their local authority, or may just need support in managing their finances. Other people may require more regular support to ensure their safety and health on a daily basis. Those with more severe or complex needs may need extensive, hour-to-hour help in performing basic skills, such as eating, dressing and washing.
With the right support people can live full and meaningful lives. However, if this support is not provided they may face problems in gaining independence or a home of their own, in accessing leisure and recreation activities, and/or in developing friendships and relationships.
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Trouble With Reading And Writing
Struggling with reading and writing can be a sign of learning differences like dyslexia. As a child, maybe it took you a very long time to complete reading assignments.
Now as an adult, you may notice you avoid reading and writing whenever possible. Or you might hesitate to return an email because youre worried youll misspell too many words.
Find out how dyslexia is diagnosed in adults. There are many resources that can help you find specialists in your area. That includes local chapters of the Learning Disabilities Association of America , an Understood founding partner.
You can also learn about tools like assistive technology for reading and writing. AT is very common today, and many tools, like text-to-speech, are built into mobile devices. Watch as an expert explains how to turn on text-to-speech on your smartphone.
Treatment For Learning Disorders
Children with learning disorders often need extra help and instruction that are specialized for them. Having a learning disorder can qualify a child for special education services in school. Schools usually do their own testing for learning disorders to see if a child needs intervention. An evaluation by a healthcare professional is needed if there are other concerns about the childs behavior or emotions. Parents, healthcare providers, and the school can work together to find the right referrals and treatment.
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