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Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems.
A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.

Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use.
The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.


Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities and disorders

It’s not always easy to identify learning disabilities. Because of the wide variations, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem.
However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. If you’re aware of what they are, you’ll be able to catch a learning disorder early and quickly take steps to get your child help.

The following checklist states some common red flags for learning disorders. Remember that children who don’t have learning disabilities may still experience some of these difficulties at various times. The time for concern is when there is a consistent unevenness in your child’s ability to master certain skills at certain ages.

Ages 10-13
- Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
- Trouble with open-ended test questions and word

- Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
- Poor handwriting.
- Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is

messy and disorganized).
- Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing

thoughts aloud.
- Spells the same word differently in a single document.

Paying attention to normal developmental milestones for toddlers and preschoolers is very important. Early detection of developmental differences may be an early signal of a learning disability and problems that are spotted early can be easier to correct.

Preschool age
- Problems pronouncing words.
- Trouble finding the right word.
- Difficulty rhyming.
- Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes,

days of the week.
- Difficulty following directions or learning routines.
- Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors, or

coloring within the lines.
- Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes.


Ages 5-9
- Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds.
- Unable to blend sounds to make words.
- Confuses basic words when reading.
- Slow to learn new skills.
- Consistently misspells words and makes frequent errors
- Trouble learning basic math concepts.

- Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences.





Types of disabilities

Learning disabilities in reading (dyslexia)
There are two types of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. Reading comprehension problems occur when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.
Signs of reading difficulty include problems with:
- Letter and word recognition.
- Understanding words and

- Reading speed and fluency.
- General vocabulary ski

Learning disabilities in math (dyscalculia)
A child with a math-based learning disorder may struggle with memorization and organization of numbers, operation signs, and number “facts” (like 5+5=10 or 5×5=25).
Children with math learning disorders might also have trouble with counting principles (such as counting by twos or counting by fives) or have difficulty telling time.

Learning disabilities in writing (dysgraphia)
Symptoms of a written language learning disability revolve around the act of writing. They include problems with:
- Neatness and consistency of writing.
- Accurately copying letters and words
- Spelling consistency.
- Writing organization and coherence.

Auditory & Visual Processing Struggles

The eyes and the ears are the primary means of delivering information to the brain, a process sometimes called “input.” If either the eyes or the ears aren’t working properly, learning can suffer.
Auditory processing disorder – Professionals may refer to the ability to hear well as “auditory processing skills” or “receptive language.” The ability to hear things correctly greatly impacts the ability to read, write and spell. An inability to distinguish subtle differences in sound, or hearing sounds at the wrong speed make it difficult to sound out words and understand the basic concepts of reading and writing.

Visual processing disorder – Problems in visual perception include missing subtle differences in shapes, revers- ing letters or numbers, skipping words, skipping lines, misperceiving depth or distance, or having problems with eye–hand coordination. Professionals may refer to the work of the eyes as “visual processing.” Visual perception can affect gross and fine motor skills, reading comprehension, and math.


Moving Forward

Most children benefit from therapy. Therapy programs are assigned to help children with their delays.
A Multi-Disciplinary approach is always recommended. For example : Occupational therapy would improve the motor skills of a child who has writing problems. A speech-language therapist would help address language skills. etc.. 

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