Learning disabilities are associated with slow learning and often facing difficulty in learning. So, children who experience a hard time learning basic language skills and other important things usually have learning disabilities. Their brain functions differently from the average human, and that’s why they receive and process information in different ways. For example, they hear, see, and understand things, unlike others which affect their learning skills. However, you need to understand as a parent that your child is equally intelligent and competent, just like other kids, despite having a learning disability. You must not force them to learn things quickly and call them lazy or dumb.
The leading causes of learning disabilities include:
1. Genetics and family history play an influential role in the development of learning disorders.
2. Pre-birth and neonatal negligence, such as consumption of alcohol, drugs, and other harmful substances, can affect the normal brain functioning of a baby. Similarly, premature birth and being underweight at the time of birth also have connections with learning disorders.
3. Physical or psychological traumas such as exposure to abuse or stress, head injuries, and nervous system infections may affect the proper functioning of the brain leads to the high risks of learning disorders.
4. Exposure to an unhealthy environment for a long time can cause learning disorders. For example, heavy exposure to toxins like lead can increase the chances of developing learning disorders.
Signs to Look Out For
As a parent, you have to observe your children closely and especially monitor their progress while they are in the learning phase. In this way, you can recognize the signs of learning disabilities. Similarly, teachers who have relevant education, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education, can also help you in identifying the learning disorders among children
The disabilities that are most common in children include reading, writing, listening, speaking, math, and reasoning. One out of five children in the United States experience learning disabilities like dyslexia, commonly referred to as difficulty in reading and ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
It’s not easy to recognize learning disabilities in children. The signs of learning disorders vary greatly among children depending on their age and the nature of the learning disorders. However, you can look out for some red flags and warning signs.
Kids in preschool showcase the following signs:
- Facing difficulty in pronunciation, rhyming, and finding the correct words.
- Taking more than average time to learn the numbers, alphabet, shapes, colors, and days of the week.
- Trouble in following directions and routines.
- Difficulty in performing motor skills including coloring within the boundaries, handling pencils, crayons, zippers, buttons, and scissors
Kids who are between 5 to 9 years of age show the following signs:
- Facing difficulty in understanding the connection between sounds and letters.
- Unable to decipher basic words when reading.
- Consistent errors such as misspelled words
- Difficulty in learning time and basic math terms and concepts and memorizing patterns.
Children who are aged between 10 to 13 years exhibit the following signs:
- Facing difficulty in reading, writing, solving word problems, and answering open-ended questions.
- Constantly misspelling words in the same document.
- Poor math skills.
- Poor handwriting and organizational skills such as messy notebooks and bedrooms.
- Showing hesitation to participate in classroom discussions
It is best to get a thorough check-up and examination done by a medical expert to confirm the occurrence of any learning disorder in your kid. It is only possible if you are already familiar with the common signs. You can manage to help your kid in time by following the necessary steps for overcoming their learning disability.
However, it is crucial to understand that children may experience some difficulties at certain times. The alarming time to seek help is when they show repetitive behavior of uneven learning and difficulty learning the necessary skills.
Treatment for Learning Disabilities
As a parent, you must address and cope with your child’s learning disability through a proper treatment plan. You can discuss your child’s learning disability with teachers and school administrators so they can facilitate them as much as possible.
- You can arrange extra help such as a language therapist, math tutor, or other experts who can effectively guide and teach your kid to overcome speech regarding problems and improve math skills.
- Some public schools have specially designed Individualized education programs (IEP) to tackle the needs of students experiencing any form of learning disorders. The IEP program supports the kids by setting learning goals and devising strategies to achieve those goals.
- Classroom accommodations can also prove to be a beneficial way to treat learning disabilities. Instructors may give extended time for assignments and tests.
- The use of digital tools and modern applications can also prove effective in the recovery of such disabilities. For instance, you can provide computer or mobile apps to kids that support reading, and writing, by audiobooks.
- Some children may get treatment through occupational therapy. It is used for improving the motor skills of kids who face writing problems.
To deal with learning disabilities, you must try the above-mentioned treatment methods. In case of failure, you can go for medication after taking a recommendation from the concerned medical authority. Medications are especially effective in the cure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Furthermore, you can also help your kid overcome their learning disability by making healthy choices. For instance, intake of vitamins and dietary changes can create a positive effect on your child’s well-being.