If you suspect that your child’s learning challenges may require special assistance, please do not delay in finding help. The sooner you receive assistance, the better your child’s chances for reaching his or her maximum potential. If you’re concerned, don’t waste time.
Learning disabilities can look very different from one child to another. It is not always simple to determine learning disabilities. There is no single profile or symptom one can look to as proof of a problem, because of the wide variations. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another child enjoys books, but cannot comprehend math. Yet another child may struggle communicating out loud or understanding what others are saying. The challenges are very different, but they are all learning disorders. Nonetheless, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. By being aware of what they are, you’ll be able to catch a learning problem earlier and take adequate steps to get your child support.
Keep in mind that children who don’t have learning disabilities may still experience some of these challenges at various times. The time for concern is present with an unevenness consistency in your child’s ability to master certain skills. The following checklist lists some commonly seen red flags for learning disorders.
Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Difficulty coloring within the lines or controlling crayons, pencils, scissors
Difficulty following directions or learning routines
Problems pronouncing words
Trouble finding the right word
Trouble learning the alphabet, colors, days of the week, numbers, shapes
Trouble with buttons, learning to tie shoes, snaps, zippers
Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Confuses basic words when reading
Consistently makes frequent reading errors and misspells words
Difficulty remembering sequences and telling time
Trouble learning basic math concepts
Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
Unable to blend sounds to make words
Slow to learn new skills
Ages 10-13 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Avoids reading aloud; Dislikes reading and writing
Difficulty with math skills or reading comprehension
Poor organizational skills (bedroom, desk is disorganized and messy, homework)
Spells the same word differently in a single document
Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
Early detection of developmental milestone differences may be an early sign of a learning disability and problems that are spotted at an early point can be effortless to correct. Paying attention to developmental milestones can assist you identify learning disorders. Looking at the normal developmental milestones guidelines for toddlers and preschoolers is crucial.
You as the parent know your child better than anyone else does, so if you believe there is a problem, it doesn’t hurt to get an evaluation. You can also ask your pediatrician for a developmental milestones chart. A developmental lag might not be considered a symptom of a learning disability until your child is older, but if you observe it when your child is young, you can intervene appropriately.
Auditory and visual processing problems: the importance of the ears and eyes
The eyes and the ears are the primary forms of transporting information to the brain, a process sometimes called “input.” If either the ears or the eyes aren’t functioning properly, learning can suffer.
Auditory processing disorder – Professionals may perceive to the ability to hear well as “auditory processing skills” or “receptive language.” The ability to hear things correctly significantly impacts the ability to read, spell, and write. An inability to distinguish subtle differences in sound, or hearing sounds at the incorrect speed make it challenging to sound out words and understand the basic concepts of reading and writing.
Visual processing disorder – Problems in visual perception include having problems with eye–hand coordination, missing subtle differences in shapes, misperceiving depth or distance, skipping lines, skipping words, reversing letters or numbers, or misperceiving depth or distance. Professionals may call the work of the eyes as “visual processing.” Visual perception can affect gross and fine motor skills, math, and reading comprehension.