What are learning disabilities?
Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren't lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. These differences affects how they receive and process information.
Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking. Children with learning disabilities can, and do, succeed.
It can be tough to face the possibility that anyone child has a learning disorder. No parents want to see their children suffer. We may wonder what it could mean for our child’s future, or worry about how our kid will make it through school. Perhaps you’re concerned that by calling attention to your child's learning problems he or she might be labeled "slow" or assigned to a less challenging class. But the important thing to remember is that most kids with learning disabilities are just as smart as everyone else. They just need to be taught in ways that are tailored to their unique learning styles. By learning more about learning disabilities in general, and your child’s learning difficulties in particular, you can help pave the way for success at school and beyond.
Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities and disorders
Learning disabilities look very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but can’t understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders. It’s not always easy to identify learning disabilities. Because of the wide variations, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. If you’re aware of what they are, you’ll be able to catch a learning disorder early and quickly take steps to get your child help. The following checklist lists some common red flags for learning disorders. Remember that children who don’t have learning disabilities may still experience some of these difficulties at various times. The time for concern is when there is a consistent unevenness in your child’s ability to master certain skills. Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Problems pronouncing words
Trouble finding the right word
Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week Difficulty following directions or learning routines
Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes
Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
Unable to blend sounds to make words
Confuses basic words when reading
Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors Trouble learning basic math concepts
Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences
Slow to learn new skills
Ages 10-13 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
Spells the same word differently in a single document
Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized) Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud Poor handwriting
Paying attention to developmental milestones can help you identify learning disorders Paying...
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