Learning Disability Among Children

Some children simply love going to school, while others dread it. Fear of getting scolded in the class as well as at home for poor performance in studies is mostly the reason behind children avoiding school, later on, all social gatherings. What teachers and parents sometimes fail to identify is if the child has any learning disability.

learning disab

Parents can look for the following signs, which are most common, to identify learning disabilities:

  • Difficulty with reading and/or writing.
  • Problems with mathematical skills.
  • Poor memory.
  • Difficulty in following directions.
  • Poor coordination. Difficulty in hand eye coordination.
  • Difficulty with concepts related to time.
  • Problems staying organized.
  • Short attention span.

Other less common symptoms include:

  • Different performance every day,
  • Inappropriate response in many instances,
  • Distractible, restless, impulsive,
  • Difficult to discipline,
  • Doesn’t adjust well to change, resists change
  • Reverses letters,
  • Placing letters in incorrect sequence,
  • Delayed speech development; immature speech.

 

Each child can have different type of learning disability. The most common ones are:

 

Auditory Processing Disorder (Also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder):

The patient typically has:

  • Difficulty in recognizing subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard.
  • Difficulty to tell where sounds are coming from
  • To make sense of the order of sounds or to block out competing background noises.

Dyscalculia

The patient has:

  • Difficulty in understanding numbers and learn maths facts.
  • Poor comprehension of math symbols
  • Difficulty in memorizing and organizing numbers
  • Difficulty in telling time
  • Trouble with counting.

Dysgraphia

The patient has:

  • Problems in handwriting ability and fine motor skills.
  • Illegible handwriting
  • Inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper,
  • Poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time.

Dyslexia (also known as Language-Based Learning Disability)

The patient has:

  • Problems in reading and related language-based processing skills.
  • Affected reading fluency, decoding, reading comprehension, recall, writing, spelling, and sometimes speech
  • Can exist along with other related disorders.

Language Processing Disorder

The patient has:

  • Difficulty in attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories.
  • LPD is different from  APD. While APD patients have difficulty in processing all sounds, children with LPD have problems only in language processing.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities

The patient has:

  • Significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills.
  • Trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit

The patient has:

  • Affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy.
  • Can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters,
  • Frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly
  • Poor eye/hand coordination.

Related disorders

ADHD

The patient has:

  • Difficulty in staying focused and paying attention.
  • Hyperactivity and difficulty in controlling behavior.

Though ADHD is not considered a learning disability, research indicates that 30-50% of children with ADHD also have some type of learning disability, and the two conditions can jointly make learning extremely challenging.

Can learning disabilities be cured?

There is no cure for learning disabilities. However, an early intervention can help reducing the effects to a large extent. Some children have done extremely well in their schools, careers and personal lives. Some studies have also proved that if a child is given proper guidance in initial years, they don’t need any special training after one year.

Children, who are given regular, age-appropriate, intensive and targeted interventions, aimed at correcting learning deficiencies usually improve. For children, things change every day. What is true today will not be the same tomorrow. Hence, the teaching pattern has to change with age. In some cases, the improvement can erase deficits in basic learning abilities, such as reading, writing and maths. Even non-verbal learning disabilities, involving poor social relationships can be reversed.

In some cases, special training along with medication is prescribed by the doctors, depending upon the severity of problem.

 

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