Learning Disabilities

Parents are often baffled by the problems presented by a child with learning disabilities. Often this “invisible disability” does not become obvious until a child reaches school age.

Even then, difficulties may be subtle and hard to recognize.

Why is early diagnosis and treatment important?

Often the first place where learning disabilities are recognized is at school. Although learning disabilities may be identified by kindergarten-level pre-screening programs, they are often not confirmed until patterns are observed and recognized over time. Early diagnosis not only improves the child’s ability to reach their academic potential, but also prevents the development of low self-esteem and behavior problems that further interfere with their ability to learn. Without early diagnosis, the potential to develop the skills they need to have a normal, successful life as an adult can be greatly reduced.

Recognizing the Signs of Learning Disabilities

Although learning disabilities may be detected at all ages, from preschool to high school, it is always best to make the diagnosis as soon as possible. Be aware of developmental milestones such as walking or talking. An inability to socialize can also signal a learning disability in children of different ages, as can the signs below:

  • Problems sounding out or pronouncing words
  • Difficulty pronouncing or learning the meaning of new words
  • Problems following instructions
  • Failure to respond to questions
  • Difficulty explaining what they want
  • Problems rhyming
  • Clumsiness
  • Lack of balance
  • Poor memory
  • Impulsive and easily distracted
  • Difficulty focusing on a task
  • Difficulty learning new concepts
  • Becomes frustrated easily
  • Easily angered

If you have concerns, have your child assessed as soon as possible rather than wait until his or her challenges are frustrating.

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