How to cope with a learning disability

Date: October 2, 2017 Author: admin Categories: Child Development, Dyslexia, Learning Styles, Uncategorized

A learning disabilty is commonly defined as “a disorder, usually affecting school-age children of normal or above-normal intelligence, characterized by difficulty in understanding or using spoken or written language, and thought to be related to impairment or slowed development of perceptual motor-skills.” (http://www.dictionary.com)

As a parent it can be very sadden to learn that one’s child has a learning disability, and parents are often the first to notice that something isn’t right. But research suggest that if the disability is discovered and dealt with at an early age, a child with a learning disability can perform at or in some cases above average rate. If given appropriate help early, these individuals can grow into confident and  successful adults.

 

What to look for – early signs

So what are the early signs?

According to ldonline.org, below are some signs that parents and teachers should look for if they suspect that a child has a learning disability:

 

Preschool

  • Pronunciation problems
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
  • Extremely restless and easily distracted
  • Trouble interacting with peers
  • Difficulty following directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills slow to develop

 

Grades K-4

  • Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
  • Slow to remember facts
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
  • Impulsive, difficulty planning
  • Unstable pencil grip
  • Trouble learning about time
  • Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents

 

Grades 5-8

  • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
  • Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
  • Avoids writing assignments
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions

 

How to support and help your child

Thanks to all the research and findings in this area, there is a lot one can do if they discover that their child is suffering from a learning disability.

By understanding and recognizing the different types of disabilities and their early signs it is easier to find a treatment program for your child. In searching for ways to help children with learning disabilities, remember that you are looking for ways to help them help themselves. Your job as a parent is not to “cure” the learning disability, but to give your child the social and emotional tools he or she needs to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help your child grow stronger and more resilient. (helpguide.org)