Anything a person does, perceives or understands is defined and determined by the brain. Learning difficulties (disabilities) appear when a person’s brain does not perceive the written word in the same way as another person’s. Hence, it does not mean such an individual cannot learn; rather, it means that person cannot learn like everyone else.
There are a number of learning difficulties; each quite complex. Understanding these difficulties is essential in maintaining healthy confident children and, in the long run, healthy confident adults. The significance of the combination of a proper education and upbringing cannot be placed in simple words. It is perhaps better understood in the knowing that a person’s childhood determines his adult life, success or failure.
This article aims to point out the most common symptoms and reasons learning difficulties occur.
It’s in the genes
It is not only the color of eyes, height or mannerisms that are inherited from parents or other relatives, but the way someone develops is also inherited in his DNA. Therefore, if A’s father was a slow learner, there’s a great chance he too will be a slow learner. Why? The answer is in the way his body and body parts grow and mature (genetic, congenital or acquired neuro-biological factors).
For instance, the gene responsible for the acquisition of language is the FoxP2 which was relatively recently discovered in chromosome 7 (by Antony Monaco and colleagues at the Welcome Trust Centre in Oxford). However, it is not the genetic makeup of a person alone that will determine whether or not he has difficulties in learning.
It’s in the environment
Another example of how a person is affected by the environment in which he is raised in combination with the inherited genes is displayed in current research. In London’s King College, Terry Moffitt, head of research, discovered that abuse alone is not enough reason for a child to turn aggressive or violent during adolescence. There must also be a genetic propensity. The research concludes that for a child to turn antisocial and violent there must be a combination of the congruous genetic makeup and environment which such a child is exposed to.
Symptoms; What learning difficulties actually look like
Next time a child screams out that school is boring and he hates it, do not be quick to take it to heart. Consider more scrupulously the underlying reasons for his outburst. Look at the following symptoms of learning difficulties and contemplate whether any identify with the child in question (Keep in mind, however, that children without any true learning difficulties may have some of these symptoms; it is when they are many and persistent that one should seek a specialist):
Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
The child does not speak baby talk (or hardly speaks) but at the age of 2 begins to speak without any difficulty Cannot pronounce words properly Cannot draw shapes properly Difficulty in finding the appropriate word in order to describe or name something Trouble rhyming Cannot easily learn the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week Cannot follow directions or learn routines easily Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes
Grades K-4 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Cannot easily connect letters and their sounds Cannot combine sounds to make words Confuses words when reading, even basic ones Misspells words (whether familiar or new) and makes frequent reading errors Cannot easily learn basic math concepts Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences Is slow to learn new skills
Grades 5-8 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Reading or math are a nightmare since doing either one is very difficult Difficulty with answering open-ended test questions and word problems Avoids reading aloud (since he has not mastered this skill) and cannot put his thoughts on paper Spells the same word differently in a single essay, paragraph or sentence Lacks organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized) Has difficulty in following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud His handwriting is depicted by uneven letters that often seem to be dancing on the line
The Greek word ‘dys’ expresses anything that is difficult or bad. Thus, it has been adopted to describe a variety of learning difficulties such as dyslexia. The following are basic learning difficulties with their names and descriptions:
‘Lexia’ comes from the Greek word ‘lexi’ (λξη) which means ‘word’. Therefore, dyslexia is difficulty with words: difficulty in understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. The inability to decipher words correctly in turn creates difficulty in understanding the meaning of words, phrases, sentences and thus paragraphs. Such trouble inevitably creates incapacity of the person to put his own thoughts on paper in appropriate and cohesive sentences (dysgraphia). What sets dyslexics apart is their above average IQ (Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell are two brilliant examples).
‘Grapho’ in Greek means to write. People who suffer from dysgraphia do not necessarily suffer from dyslexia as well. They may read perfectly well, however, the mental process of understanding and producing information is at lack here. There is a struggle to form letters and combine them into words as well as organizing thoughts in print. More specifically, they may confound letters when writing, leave out syllables, misspell and have poor handwriting. Dyspraxia In the Greek language ‘praxy’ means act. Therefore, dyspraxia is difficulty in carrying out tasks. It refers to problems with movement and coordination and it may refer to cutting, writing, running or jumping. To be exact, in this case is the brain is not cooperating with the parts of the body responsible for carrying out the above tasks. Hence, a motor coordination difficulty is one in which hand-eye coordination cannot be achieved; problems buttoning a shirt or holding a pencil.
There are still other difficulties which create problems for a child to learn and they have been around for many years. everyone can learn provided they find the proper path leading to the exodus of their specific quandary.