Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities: what parents need to know

Your child will learn many things in life – how to listen, speak, read, write, and do math. some skills may be harder than others. If your child is trying his best to learn certain skills but is not able to keep up with his peers, it’s important to find out why. There can be many reasons. If your child has a learning disability (also known as LD), the sooner you know, the sooner you can get your child help. your child can learn how to succeed in school, work, and relationships.

What is an LD?

Learning disability is a term used to describe a range of learning problems. these problems have to do with the way the brain gets, uses, stores, and sends out information. Children with LD’s may have trouble with one or more of the following skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and math. Some children mayhave attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affecting school progress. This isn’t the same as learning problems that are mainly caused by visual, hearing, or motor disabilities.

What causes LDs?

There could be many possible causes. the causes aren’t always known. Often children with learning disabilities have a parent or relative with the same or similar learning disabilities. In some cases, children were born with a low birth weight prematurely. In other cases, an injury or illness during childhood may have been the cause (for example, severe head injury, lead poisoning, a childhood illness like meningitis).

How do i know if my child has an LD?

Learning disabilities aren’t always obvious. However, there are some signs that could mean your child needs help. Keep in mind that children develop and learn at different rates. Let us know if your child shows any of the following signs:

Preschool children may have:

  • Delays in language development – by 2 1/2 years of age, your child should be able to talk in short sentences
  • Trouble with speech – by 3 years of age, your child should speak well enough so that adults can understand most of what she says
  • Trouble with coordination – By 5 years of age, your child should be able to button, cut, and hop. She should be able to copy a circle, square, or triangle.
  • Short attention span – between 3 to 5 years of age, your child should be able to sit still and listen to a short story. As your child gets older, she should be able to pay attention for a longer time.

School aged children and teens may find it difficult to:

  • Follow instructions
  • Get and stay organized at home and school
  • Understand verbal directions
  • Learn facts and remember information
  • Learn certain subjects taught in school but seem smart in other subjects
  • Fit in with peers or communicate with others
  • Sounds words out and read and spell
  • Write clearly (may have poor hand writing)
  • Concentrate and finish schoolwork (may daydream)
  • Explain information clearly with speech or in writing

What are common LD’s?

The following are brief descriptions of some learning disabilities. Keep in mind, not every child with an LD fits neatly within on of these types. Careful evaluation is important.

Reading disorder:

  • May not remember the names or letters and the sounds they make
  • May not understand words that are read to them
  • May not understand that words are made up of sounds and that letters stand for those sounds
  • May not be able to sound out words at the right speed or correctly
  • May take longer to read words they know.

Writing disorder

  • May have trouble using a pen or pencil
  • May into remember how letters are formed
  • May have trouble coping shapes or drawing lines and spacing things out
  • May have trouble writing words to express themselves
  • May have trouble organizing and writing their thoughts on paper.

Math disorder

  • May have trouble with math concepts such as number values, quantity and order.
  • May have trouble with fractions, percentages, geometry and algebra
  • May have trouble with things like time, money, and measuring
  • May have other problems, including problems with shapes and drawing.

Nonverbal LD’s

  • May have problems with non verbal clues, like body language
  • May have poor coordination

Children with speech and language disabilities.

  • May have problems understanding and using language
  • May struggle to understand instructions or new information

SOURCES: AAP online