Have you ever noticed small behavioral differences between your child and other children? If so, you likely feel very concerned. And some parents may even struggle with feelings of guilt or embarrassment. But the truth is that learning disorders are quite common. And in many cases, there are simply speed bumps to learning -- not roadblocks. According to Science Daily, 10% of students will have some sort of learning disability. This equates to 2-3 children per typical classroom.
Because few schools are doing extensive testing for these disabilities, parents need to take matters into their own hands. If you feel your child may need a little extra help to reach their full potential, we want to encourage you to seek help from a licensed professional. If you are unsure which symptoms to look for, here are some signs that your child may need some help.
Inability to Focus
One of the primary characteristics associated with learning disorders is the inability to pay attention. For elementary age kids, school is long enough. When a child has a learning disability, getting through the day is even more tricky. Because these student’s brains have a harder time processing information, focusing for lengthy periods of time can seem impossible. The lack of focus that is associated with learning disabilities is often due to ADHD. Sources say that between 30 and 50 percent of children with a learning disorder will also have ADHD. Regardless of the disability, inattentiveness and inability to focus will almost always be symptoms.
Lack of Organizational Skills
Children who are unable to organize their thoughts may also be suspected of having a learning disorder. An inability to sequence events can be signs of Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, or Dyscalculia. The diagnosis of the disability will depend on whether the child has difficulties organizing words, thoughts, or numbers respectively. Remember, even if you think your child may be experiencing these symptoms, only a professional will be able to present an accurate diagnosis.
A learning disorder can also manifest itself in a more physical way. For example, a child who has just a much difficulty organizing their belonging as they do their thoughts may be showing symptoms of a deeper issue. If you have an elementary aged child who has difficulties keeping track of their belongings, it may be time to seek help.
Difficulties Performing School Work
One of the most noticeable symptoms of learning disabilities is the inability to complete school work with accuracy. Although this symptom may seem like an obvious indicator for providing a diagnosis, it is often overlooked, or worse. Sometimes students who try their best are labeled as bad children who can’t perform up to society's standards. If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing a disability of this nature, we encourage you to see a doctor who can perform a series of tests to determine your child’s potential.
Difficulties Accepting Change
Another possible indication of a learning disorder is any inability to accept changes. For example, moving to a higher or lower grade has the possibility of messing up a child’s positive relationship with school. To alleviate this possibility, some schools have taken to placing learning disabled children in one classroom. This way they will be able to establish a continued routine, receive special help, and get the most out of their education.
Throughout their time in school, children are constantly experiencing many changes. A child who has a disability may be inclined to be anti social, or even act out to deal with some of these changes. If a child has Dyspraxia, they will be very sensitive to both light and touch. Any sort of big change could potentially set the child off and create an unsafe environment.
While each child matures at a different rate, prolonged immaturity can be a sign of an underlying disorder.If your child has difficulties relating to other kids, and behaving in class, you may want to have them tested for something deeper. What others may perceive as an attitude problem may in fact be an actual disorder. Because children with learning challenges process information differently, they may sometimes act in ways that seem abnormal to their teachers and peers. As your child grows, keep a close eye on their development. If they appear to be falling behind, it is time to reach out to a medical professional.
In some instances, learning disabled children have a much more difficult time reading situations. Because of this inability to distinguish tone, these children are much more apt to behave inappropriately for the current situation. For example, you child may be much more likely to shout out answers in class without raising their hand. Some children may even be inclined to make rude comments at teachers and other students. If a teacher expresses their concern for your child’s behavior, professional testing should be completed as soon as possible.
If you are interested in hearing more about different learning disabilities, Dr. Syras Derksen has professionals who are ready to talk.