Well let’s get the Science stuff out of the way first, Learning Disabilities | Disorders | Difficulties are a condition in the brain that causes difficulties in comprehending or processing information and can be caused by several different factors (Hereditary and / or Neurobiological factors).
So, what does this all mean?
In layman’s terms it only means that your child might have problems learning basic skills such as reading, writing or math. In some cases, the disability can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short-term memory and attention.
What are the main types of Learning Disabilities?
Dyslexia – Your brain processes language in a non-neurotypical way. This condition mainly affects reading & writing.
Dyscalculia – The brain has difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic. This condition mainly affects understanding numbers and learning how to manipulate numbers.
Dysgraphia – difficulty in the ability to write, primary handwriting but also coherence and finger sequencing (the movement of muscles required to write).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. i.e., a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized.
The first thing to understand is that all children are different and that all children learn differently, if you think your child might have a type of Learning Disability it is important to have a full evaluation done (the earlier the better), Often Learning Disabilities might overlap and or your child could only have symptoms of one disorder. Having a child that does not like reading or his handwriting is messy does not mean there is a problem, your kid just hates reading. It is important to do some research and find the best person in your area to help and diagnose your child, Schools often will have a program to help students with Learning Disabilities, but they will insist on a comprehensive evaluation before they will make such programs available.
As a mom who has Dyslexia (back in the day it was not discussed or talked about) which was only diagnosed at 17, as you can imagine that was fun. But knowing the signs to look for I knew my youngest son was having some difficulties at School, so I had him evaluated at a young age which helped us streamline his learning and subject choice.
Here’s what you as a parent can do to help your child to do well
Praise your child when they do well
Children with Learning Difficulties often excel in a variety of things. Find out what your child enjoys doing and give them plenty of opportunities to pursue their strengths and talents.
How does your child learn best
Is your child audio, visual or kinetic style learner? Use your child’s strengths in these areas to help with School work.
Let your child help with chores
Build self-confidence and keep instructions simple, break down tasks into smaller steps and reward your child’s efforts.
Make homework a priority
In a calm area of the home sit with your child and encourage and make sure distractions are at a minimal.
Remember patience is the key and intelligence is not only measured by how well you do in School.
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