If your child is struggling with reading and writing at a time when they should not, then you might be looking at a case of learning disorders. Most parents assume that some of these problems will go away on their own, but knowing what is going on always helps with the future development of the child.
Understanding Learning Disabilities
Your child may have a problem with learning and processing information, but that does not mean that they are not as intelligent as others in their age group. It simply means that they look at what is presented before them differently from others. The most common disorders have to do with writing, reading, processing information and understanding mathematical concepts.
Debunking the Myths Surrounding Children with Learning Disabilities
There is a general feel that children with learning disabilities are ‘slow’. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Research shows that children with these disorders are just as smart as others in their age. As a parent, you may not want to confront this problem because you are afraid that your kid might be stigmatized and seen as less endowed. However, understanding the root of the problem helps you in getting your young one to do better than they might be at the present moment.
Learning problems do not manifest themselves in the same exact way, the reason being that every child experiences them in his/her own different way. This means that you cannot use the experiences of one child as a blueprint to the solution of a problem faced by another. There are however some general signs that could point to the existence of a bigger problem, and you need to stay on the lookout for them. These signs manifest themselves at different ages as indicated below.
- Difficulties in finding and pronouncing some words
- Problems internalizing shapes, colours, days of the week and months of the year.
- Complications with rhythm.
- Challenges understanding and following learning routines
- Problems holding pens, pencils, crayons and other reading materials
- A struggle with zippers, shoelaces and buttons
Symptoms observable between the ages of 5 and 9
- Misspellings and reading errors
- Difficulties in remembering patterns
- Problems understanding how sounds and words connect
- Slow-learning curves in situations where other children show an average trend
- The confusion of elementary phrases when reading
- A struggle with basic mathematical ideas
Signs between the ages of 10 and 13
- Bad handwriting
- Complexities when it comes to math or writing
- Difficulties taking part in group activities and expressing oneself
- The inability to put organizational skills into use
- Problem with open-ended tests
Types of Learning Disabilities
This refers to problems with reading and internalizing text. A child will have problems putting comprehension skills into use, connecting sounds and words and recognizing patterns. Use of technology aids can help people affected overcome their difficulties with much success.
In this scenario, the learner finds it hard to write legibly and maintain a consistent handwriting. As such, what they write down is rarely neat. They make lots of spelling errors too.
A child with this disorder has noticeable problems solving mathematical problems, organizing numbers and understanding sequences of any kind.
Here, children have a hard time understanding, connecting and putting thoughts in perspective. It becomes hard to communicate constructively.
A child suffering from this disorder struggles with movement – be it in writing (movement of the hand), jumping or making quick motions.
- Auditory and visual problems
The ears and eyes are core to the process of learning. Auditory disorders make it hard for a learner to hear and interpret sounds. Visual problems create complications with looking at and understanding practical representations in the learning process.
A Ray of Hope
The good news for parents and their children is that the brain can be conditioned to change, and the effect of particular disorders can be reversed. If a professional is sought at an early age, a child is able to stay in-step with others when it comes to learning activities.
Having a child suffering from a learning disorder can be scary, but only if you do not know a way out. Find out as much as you can about the specific problem and seek professional help as early as possible.If possible, find support networks around you and get the kid all the help they need.