Learning disabilities is the brain’s inability to receive and process information correctly. The learning disability (LD) has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, many LD individuals have very high IQ’s. This is important for parents of LD children to realize, since they will need to not only comprehend their child’s particular disability and work with the child to compensate for it, but they will also feed the child’s self-esteem and confidence. This includes guiding the child’s handling of bullying and negative comments from peers and perhaps even adults. Having said that, let’s examine common signs of learning disabilities.
Slow to speak. Granted, some children are simply slow in speech development, but this needs to be addressed prior to the child’s school registration.
Eye and hand coordination. Cutting on the line; coloring within the lines; ability to tie shoes, button clothing and stack blocks could be difficult tasks.
Auditory or comprehending voice commands. Child may appear to not hear what’s being said, but that may not be the case. In the case of autism or language perception disabilities, for example, the child doesn’t process verbal commands in the way the parent would expect. Another aspect of this disability is following directions. You may ask your child to go to their bedroom and bring you a book that you know is on their dresser. The child will obediently go to their bedroom but return empty-handed. The reason could be that the child was unable to process all the directions which included key words of “upstairs, book and dresser”.
Math problems. Perhaps your child can’t grasp mathematical concepts or sees or writes numbers backwards.
Reading can be slow. Again, your child may see words in a reversed pattern or have trouble putting sounds together to formulate words.
Exhaustion after school. If your child has a good night’s sleep but regularly returns home from school and naps, this could be a sign that the mental energy expended during the day to try to keep up with others is overtaxing your child.
Spacial recognition. Does you child put their face too close to the face of others? Or do they regularly stand too close to others? This could be a spacial problem in which the child doesn’t perceive that we all have a right to a certain amount of space between each other.
In addition to the recognition of the mentioned signs are additional questions that should be researched in determining the possibility of a child’s having LD. These include:
Was there ever exposure to lead or poisonous molds in places they lived?
Was there a history of child abuse or neglect?
Was there a long-time health problem or injury?
Was either parent a substance abuser?
Did the child obtain adequate prenatal care?
Did any family member on either parent’s side have LD?
Did the family live in poverty for any period of time in which the child may not have received a healthy diet?
Certainly there are more extensive signs of LD. If you suspect such, contact your child’s doctor, school counselor or your local learning disabilities organization. Online resources are also available to assist with comprehending the view from the child’s perspective. The good news is that children and families have tools to learn that will allow the them to live a normal and fulfilling lives.