A learning disability is a term used to define difficulty in the ability to learn new skills, understand new information and put this knowledge to use. Learning disabilities are also known as learning disorders and encompass a number of learning problems related to reading, writing, listening, speaking and reasoning.
Even though learning disabilities manifest differently in children, there are some common signs and symptoms that can help in identifying the disabilities at an early stage. Following are common signs and symptoms of learning disabilities:
- Reading: You can spot the signs of a learning disability from the way your child performs at reading. You should be concerned if you notice poor reading skills due to difficulty in letter and word recognition, reading speed and fluency, weak vocabulary skills and not being able to grasp the meaning of words, paragraphs or phrases.
- Mathematics: If your child faces difficulties in Mathematics, this could be related to a language learning disability, visual disorder, problems with sequencing, organizing and memory. Such kids exhibit signs of problems in telling the time, counting by twos or by fives, using operation signs, number facts and so on.
- Writing: Observing the way your child writes can help you in spotting a learning disability. Tell-tale signs are difficulty in forming words and letters, organizing his thoughts on paper, an inconsistent style of writing, poor handwriting, not being able to copy letters & words accurately, inconsistency in spelling and more.
- Motor Skills: Some signs of motor disability could also be signs of a learning disability. Observe whether your child is able to carry out activities that require motor coordination between the brain and limbs e.g. hand-eye coordination. Difficulties in basic activities like holding a pencil, buttoning a shirt, dressing up, etc. could be indicators of a learning disability.
- Language: Difficulty in understanding and using spoken language is also an indicator of a learning disability. Signs of language difficulties are problems with retelling a story, poor fluency of speech, inability to understand common words, directions, etc.
- Auditory And Visual Processing Problems: Signs of problems under this category are difficulty in hearing and visual processing. A child with hearing problems finds it difficult to distinguish between different sounds, listens to sounds at the wrong speed, etc. which impacts the way he understands concepts related to reading and writing. Signs of visual problems are skipping lines, misperceiving depth or distance, skipping words, etc.
In conclusion, on detecting any of the above mentioned signs, it is advisable to consult a specialist and also get special assistance such as innovative programs, strategic brain exercises to strengthen cognitive areas that are weak, computer-based learning programs to reduce the speed of sounds for better understanding and so on.
See-N-Read Reading Tools offer a variety of reading & learning tools to assist children with learning disabilities. For more information about our products, call at (630) 236 – 5592.