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What is a learning disability (LD)? 

A learning disability refers to a neurological condition in which oral, written, mathematical, communicative, and attentive function are affected. These disabilities are often discovered during the early stages of a child’s educational journey. 

Up to 10 percent of children are thought to have a diagnosable learning disorder. A child who is experiencing a learning disorder may face challenges in writing, reading, listening, speaking, and math. If your child is suffering from a learning disorder, you may find that an attorney can assist with situations arising out of various school and life activities. 

Further a child  under 18 years of age with a diagnosed learning disorder may be eligible for Disability benefits for children if they have limited sources of income and resources. Contact us today to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.

What do parents need to know about learning disabilities?

Learning DisabilityAs children grow, there are various measurements for how and when a child should  develop certain capabilities and skills in life. One of the basics among all other skills is to communicate effectively. This includes reading, writing, comprehension, and much more. For many with a learning disability, acquiring these life skills may be a bit challenging compared to others. Suppose your child has had ample opportunity to learn but is not catching up with peers; this could be a warning sign. It is essential to discover why your child  is unable to grasp these skills and how the situation can be improved.

However, you need not worry too much. Children have exceptional qualities, and each child learns differently. Further, a child may succeed in some areas while struggling in another. With the right help, a child may turn their weakness into their biggest strength. Left untreated however, learning disorders can also have an impact on mental health.

How do I know whether my child has a learning disability?

Learning disabilities may vary from one child to another. Some may face challenges in reading or writing while others may face issues in understanding mathematical or numerical concepts. Some may even experience multiple issues. The problem might vary, but all these come under learning disorders. 

It is a difficult task to identify learning disabilities in children. This is because there is no specific symptom that may indicate that it is a disorder. Although, some red flags may make things easier for the parents. Identifying a learning disability at an early stage is helpful for the child as necessary measures can be taken to rectify it. 

Parents who suspect a learning disorder should consider an evaluation by a psychologist, doctor, or neuropsychologist. These professionals have diagnostic tests to help identify learning disorders in children. The signs for these disorders may manifest differently depending on the age of the child. 

Some common warning signs that a child may exhibit at preschool age include:

  • Difficulty with the correct pronunciation;
  • Difficulty in finding the right words;
  • Difficulty forming rhymes;
  • Failure or delay in memorizing the alphabets;
  • Failure to identify colors or shapes;
  • Difficulty grasping pencils, crayons, and other writing instruments; and
  • Facing challenges in tying shoe laces or closing buttons

Children between the ages of 5 to 9 years may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Unable to differentiate between sounds of words;
  • Confusing basic words;
  • Learning new skills at a slow pace;
  • Trouble in understanding math concepts;
  • Difficulty in memorizing things;
  • Inability to tell time

The signs that a child may experience between 10 to 13 years include:

  • Reading below grade level;
  • Little interest in reading and writing;
  • Poor handwriting;
  • Unable to organize bed, desk, and homework;
  • Difficulty understanding instructions given by the teacher in school;
  • Difficulty in expressing thoughts;
  • Writing different spellings of the same word in a single document.

Therefore, the parents need to identify the developmental milestones of their children at every age. This will help them in getting to know whether their child is suffering from any disorder. 

Types of Learning disabilities

There are different types of learning disabilities that an individual might experience. Some of the most commonly diagnosed include:

  • Dyslexia

Learning disorders in reading are categorized under dyslexia. Dyslexia is of two types: basic and reading comprehension. When a child faces difficulty in understanding letters, words, and sounds it is basic dyslexia. When children experience problems in grasping the meaning of phrases, words, and paragraphs they suffer from reading comprehension dyslexia. Some children experience both simultaneously. 

  • Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a disability in understanding mathematics concepts. They face problems in sequencing, memorizing formulas, and solving math problems. 

  • Dysgraphia

A child having learning difficulty in writing may be suffering from dysgraphia. Some of the problems that such a child might face are:

  • Inability to write neatly;
  • A problem in maintaining consistency in writing;
  • Spelling issues;
  • Problems copying letters and words accurately;
  • Difficulty comprehending what they just read.

Dyspraxia is difficulty in the development of motor skills such as problems in movement and coordination. Both the fine motor skills such as writing and cutting with scissors and gross motor skills such as jumping and running may be affected.

Dysphasia is a problem in language and communication. Verbal language skills are affected such as problems in speaking, and difficulty in understanding words and directions. 

How can parents help their children experiencing learning disorders?

Children with specific learning disabilities may also be identified by observing, talking, and engaging them with activities. This will help in evaluating their mental health and written language skills. Children with learning disabilities may show a slight difference in performing any day-to-day life skills or academic activities. Children may also suffer from attention deficit and hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD) if they have a learning disorder. 

Parents can try to motivate their children by concentrating on their strengths rather than on their weaknesses. Parents can help their children develop social and emotional skills by practicing and with consistent and caring guidance. They can also take help from support groups and use other resources by teaching them decision-making and various other new skills.

This will also help to plan for their bright future by making use of special work and career programs. Many colleges and universities also provide degree courses for children who learn and think differently.

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