Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities and what they are:

Learning disabilities are clinically diagnosed difficulties or problems in learning in academic areas that hinder a child from fully achieving their potential. There are different types of learning disabilities including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, as well as certain verbal and nonverbal ones. Children with learning disabilities have a hard time performing certain types of skills or finishing certain tasks if left to their own devices. Dyslexia is a problem with reading, dyscalculia is a problem with math, and dysgraphia is a problem with writing. Approximately 1 in every 10 children develops a learning ability of some kind or another over the course of their lifetimes. The 5 areas generally affected by learning disabilities are: Spoken language, written language, arithmetic, reasoning, and memory.

In certain learning disabilities, some children with normal vision or hearing may misinterpret everyday sights or sounds as something else because their nervous system is wired differently. A child may be able to organize their thoughts in a one-on-one conversation but not be able to do so in a loud classroom. Learning disabilities often run in families, so the genetic chances of getting one if a family member has one is high. They are more common in boys than in girls, possibly because girls mature quicker than boys. The defining characteristic of a learning disability is the difference between a child’s achievements and their actual intelligence.

Symptoms of Learning disabilities:

• Has trouble copying from a model
• Has trouble with abstract thought and reasoning
• Poor long-term or short-term memory
• Poor skills in organization
• Thinking is disorganized
• Poor performance on tests and quizzes
• Poor visual/motor skills
• Poor social/peer relationships
• Excessive mood variation
• Has difficulty concentrating
• Has difficulty with sequencing tasks
• Often cannot see consequences of their actions
• Impulsive behavior
• Inappropriate behavior for situation
• May have sloppy handwriting
What if my child might have a learning disability?

If your child might have a learning disability then you should contact your child’s school to arrange for testing and evaluation to see if they are qualified for special educational services. If the child does qualify then they will get an IEP (individual education plan) to make up for any academic deficiencies. Depending upon what a child has, the IEP will be suited to meet their academic needs. Your child will not have every single symptom, and might have only one type of learning disability or they might have more than one. It’s important to always have your child take the tests the clinicians have set up to screen for learning disabilities before you assume your child has one. Assistive technology may be helpful for the child with a learning disability, which includes things like tape recorders or reading machines which read the books aloud. Learning disabilities can’t necessarily be cured but they can be worked with to give a successful life and education to those who have them.