Recognising Early Signs Of Learning Disabilities
Not so long ago the term Learning Disability was rather unfamiliar and there wasn’t much we knew about it. With more awareness and information in recent years, we are slowly beginning to understand that children who struggle to cope with academic demands might be experiencing a learning disorder. A learning disability can be defined as a disorder that affects the ability to learn a skill and use it effectively. It commonly affects skills of reading, written expression, math and non-verbal skills
Children who have a learning disability are mostly diagnosed only when they begin formal schooling and many, much later. However, the signs can be apparent earlier. Left undiagnosed, they can continue to struggle throughout their schooling years. This not only affects their academic performance but also negatively impacts their self-esteem and confidence. With the right awareness and diagnosis, children can benefit from early intervention and more resources.
There can be a few factors before birth that can influence the development of a learning disorder later in life. Some of these factors are
- A family history of learning disorders
- Parental substance abuse during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead
- Physical or psychological trauma
These factors do not mean a definite diagnosis, but it does make sense to monitor these children for developmental delays or other challenges that can eventually indicate a learning disability.
Most children with learning disabilities show visible signs at school. While many children might find school a challenging environment, most children respond to typical assistance and tutoring. It is not uncommon for children to show some letter reversals and mirror work in the first couple of school years. However, those with a learning disability continue to struggle with certain concepts and do not respond to typical assistance or teaching methods.
Some of the common sounds can be
- Having trouble reading grade-appropriate material
- Difficulty understanding what they are reading
- Not being able to understand number concepts
- Difficulty connecting letters to sounds
- Inability to repeat information or copy accurately
- Even if children master reading, they may struggle with making sense of what they have read.
Those who struggle with written expression might have
- Handwriting that is hard to follow
- Difficulty expressing thoughts in words
- Trouble with grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Trouble calculating math problems
- Trouble remembering basic math concepts
- Difficulty understanding word problems
- Problems with understanding math symbols
Non Verbal Skills
- Difficulties here usually are
- Understanding and recognizing facial cues or expressions
- Appropriately using language in social interactions
- Problems with planning and organising
Other signs of learning disorders
Children with learning disorders might manifest signs in other ways too. Some of the commonly observed behaviours are
- Trouble following directions
- Trouble reading time
- Clumsiness, poor coordination in walking or sports
- Resisting and avoiding homework that requires math, reading or writing skills
- Expressing hostility or extreme emotions while doing academic activities
- Poor memory
- Problems with working memory, that is the ability to hold and manipulate information.
Many children might struggle to learn new concepts and will make errors in their school work, but it doesn’t always indicate a learning disorder. However, if you suspect that your child has a learning disability, it is best to get them screened. Early intervention is best.
Our specialists at KinderPass can help your child overcome their learning challenges. Get in touch with us at the earliest.
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