The sooner a learning disability is uncovered and treated in your child’s life, the sooner they will be able to get help. Your child’s confidence in their early education is very important. How they see and approach education early on will continue through their many years of schooling. When a learning disability goes untreated, it can impact the self-esteem and motivation of your child.
Learning disabilities show themselves in different ways. Understanding what to look for will help improve your odds that the condition can be found. This will give you and your child tools to better help them learn.
What Is a Learning Disability?
A learning disability is an information-processing problem. It prevents you from learning and using a skill. This becomes obvious when what is expected at a certain age or grade level is not what is happening with your child. The most common learning struggles are with reading, writing, spelling, math, and nonverbal skills.
Some commonly diagnosed learning disabilities include:
In general, dyslexia is when a child has a hard time reading or learning to read. But your child may struggle to understand how a letter or letters represent a sound. They may not understand that a certain combination of letters makes a word. They may turn letters around. Many times your child can’t see the difference between b, d, or p. They usually have a tough time reading handwriting. All these things can lead to a big gap in their reading ability compared to their classmates. This could also impact their ability to understand and remember what is being read because they are concentrating so hard on trying to figure out what the words are that they are not paying attention to what they mean. It is usually very obvious by fourth grade when most children should be reading well.
This learning disability creates problems with writing coherently. To do this requires complex visual, motor, and information processing skills. This disability often reveals itself in your child as difficulty in putting thoughts in writing and drawing. Other signs may include writing that is slow and labor-intensive. This often leads to frustration for your child. They also can have difficulty with organization, poor handwriting, and errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Children with this disability struggle greatly with mathematics. This issue can reveal itself in a variety of ways, including the inability to understand how numbers work. Many times they will turn numbers around or not see the difference between 6 and 9. Therefore this can impact basic calculations, math symbols, and word problems. It can also impact the ability to read a clock, count money, or identify patterns.
Having a nonverbal disorder can impact your child’s ability to relate to those around them in social settings. Your child may have difficulty or inability to interpret facial expressions and nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice. This can impact the way they are able to communicate with the right words. It also can impact their physical coordination, the ability to pay attention, and make plans.
Auditory Processing Disorder
APD is when a child has difficulty processing sound. Children may have difficulty separating sounds such as a teacher’s voice versus background noise.
Language Processing Disorder
Related to APD, this is most often associated with attaching meaning to words. A child with LPD has difficulty processing spoken words, impacting both how the words are received as well as the ability to carry on the conversation at hand.
This disability is often demonstrated through visual-motor skills. A child’s activities can be affected by anything associated with hand-eye coordination. While reading, your child may often lose their place within the text. They can also have a hard time holding pencils, crayons, and other items involving hand-eye coordination.
A Diagnosis Can Improve Learning Outcomes
Understanding and diagnosing a learning disability early on can greatly improve your child’s success, not only in the classroom but with day-to-day existence. Many of these disorders can be treated with understanding, patience, and guidance. If you have questions, contact your child’s teacher or TIA staff today so they can direct you to someone that can help your child.