Learning Disabilities in Children

Does your child find school life difficult? Does he or she struggle with reading, writing or arithmetic? While every kid has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disorder.

What are learning disabilities???

If your child has average or above average intelligence (IQ), does well in some or other extra-curricular activities, but still have difficulties in reading, writing and arithmetic , he/she might be suffering from learning disabilities. It is important to understand that these learning disabilities are not because of lack of motivation or intelligence of these children. It is just that their brains are designed a little differently.

Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Preschool age

Problems pronouncing words

Trouble finding the right word

Difficulty rhyming

Trouble learning the alphabet numbers, colors, shapes..

Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, and learning to tie shoes etc..

The following are the major learning disabilities seen in children:

1.Learning disabilities in reading (dyslexia) : Dyslexia literally means disability relating to words. If a child has difficulty in reading and understanding words despite being physically and emotionally developed enough, dyslexia may be diagnosed. They might read words wrongly, read from back to front, or read on without stopping at full stops or comma, without understanding the meaning. They might miss words or whole lines when they read.

2.Learning disabilities in math (Dyscalculia) :
This is a learning disability that is related to numbers and arithmetic. Children affected by this condition will find it very difficult to understand simple mathematical operations such addition and subtraction. They might find it difficult even to tell the time looking at a watch.

  1. Learning disabilities in writing (Dysgraphia)
    Children who are affected by Dysgraphia may know what to write, but they will not be able to express themselves in writing. Their handwriting is generally poor. Spelling and grammar mistakes, problems with punctuation and spacing between words, and not being able to write on lines are common among them.

4.Learning disabilities due to physical problems : There are some children who have hearing and sight problems since birth. If undetected, these problems result in the child being weak in academics. In the absence of a perceptive parent or teacher, such children might never be diagnosed, resulting in them being branded as lazy and uninterested in studies.

5.Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Children with ADHD cannot focus on anything for more than a few seconds. They are very restless, and cannot sit still for more than a minute. Naturally, they get weak in academics, and are quite disruptive in class. They might be quite intelligent in some areas, but anything that requires concentrated effort will be very difficult for them.

6.Learning disabilities due to emotional/psychological problems : Irrational fear, anxiety, depression, and separation anxiety from parents may result in learning problems in school. Other than these, bullying in school, teachers who punish severely, lack of discipline in the school environment and negative home atmosphere also can lead to children performing poorly in school.

Remedial measures for learning disabilities :

Usually it is the teachers at school who suspect that a child may have a learning disability. Once it is suspected, parents should be informed, and a team consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologist, pediatrician and a speech therapist will have to deal with the child on a one-to-one basis. With adequate support and an appropriate teaching and learning approach, students with learning disabilities can also lead a normal and fulfilling life.