Learning Disabilities

7 Signs That Your Child May Have a Learning Disability
Some of the most frequent signs of learning disabilities in children include, when the child:

Has difficulty understanding and following instructions.
Has trouble remembering what someone just told him or her.
Fails to master reading, spelling, writing, and/or math skills, and thus fails schoolwork.
Has difficulty distinguishing right from left; difficulty identifying words or a tendency to reverse letters, words, or numbers; (for example, confusing 25 with 52, “b” with “d,” or “on” with “no”).
Lacks coordination in walking, sports, or small activities such as holding a pencil or tying a shoelace.
Easily loses or misplaces homework, schoolbooks, or other items.
Cannot understand the concept of time; is confused by “yesterday,” “today,” “tomorrow.”
Child and adolescent psychologists point out that learning disabilities are treatable. If not detected and treated early, however, they can have a tragic “snowballing” effect. For instance, a child who does not learn addition in elementary school cannot understand algebra in high school. The child, trying very hard to learn, becomes more and more frustrated, and develops emotional problems such as low self-esteem in the face of repeated failure. Some learning disabled children misbehave in school because they would rather be seen as “bad” than “stupid”.

To help identify a learning disability, testing by licensed psychologist can be invaluable.  Psychological testing is important in diagnosing learning disabilities to isolate as much as possible the abilities that are affected. The results of testing are used to instruct the individual on how to use strengths to compensate for the affected abilities and how to make adjustments to minimize the negative impact of the disability on their daily functioning.

For additional information on Learning Disabilities, please see Understanding Learning Disabilities.

Posted in Learning Disabilities
Understanding Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are extremely common.  It is estimated that at least 1 in 10 schoolchildren are affected by some form of a learning disability and contrary to popular belief, learning disabilities are not a sign of an impaired intelligence.  In fact, learning disabilities can occur among some of the most intellectually gifted individuals.

Learning disabilities have to do with specific impairments in the process of learning new material or utilizing previously learned material. The categories are not simple and it can be difficult to test directly for a specific ability because usually a combination of abilities are utilized for any one task.

A sample of commonly recognized learning disabilities includes:

Auditory comprehension (spoken material)
Visual comprehension (written material)
The ability to utilize numbers and sequences
The ability to produce spoken language on demand (as the result of questions, rather than spontaneous conversation)
It is believed that learning disabilities are caused by a difficulty with the nervous system that affects receiving, processing, or communicating information. They may also have a genetic link and run in families. Some children with learning disabilities are also hyperactive; unable to sit still, easily distracted, and have a short attention span. This can complicate the diagnostic process.  Psychological testing is required to appropriately diagnosis a learning disability and to provide skills and strategies to overcome resulting individual difficulties.
 

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