New Oakland Child-Adolescent and Family Center
Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are umbrella terms for a wide variety of learning problems. Kids with learning disabilities not only aren't lazy, but most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently and that affects how they receive and process information. They see, hear, and understand things differently, making it difficult to learn new information and gain the skills to put it to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.
Unfortunately, the alienation caused by learning disabilities is often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD, and that's something that has long plagued the psychiatric field.
No parents want to worry if their child will make it through school, or see them suffer, be labeled "slow" or assigned to a less challenging class. If you suspect that your child's learning difficulties may require special assistance, please do not delay in finding support. The sooner you move forward, the better your child's chances for reaching his or her full potential. There is no single symptom as proof of a problem. But here are 3 common warning signs per age group:
Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Problems pronouncing words or finding the right word
- Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week
- Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines
Grades K-4 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
- Confuses basic words when reading; consistently misspells and makes reading errors
- Trouble learning basic math concepts; telling time and remembering sequences
Grades 5-8 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
- Poor handwriting, messy desk or bedroom; disorganized
- Trouble following discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
The most commonly discussed learning disability is Dyslexia, a difficulty in reading. But there are a handful of others signifying difficulties in math, writing, fine motor skills and hearing differences in sounds.