The sad truth is that most children with learning disabilities are not diagnosed until late into elementary school. The same can be said for many other learning disabilities like dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dysgraphia.
That’s because it is difficult to know if an inattentive, rambunctious, or clumsy child’s behaviors are symptomatic of a learning disability or if they are simply progressing at their own speed.
Early diagnosis and intervention of learning disabilities can have a significant, positive difference in the life of a child.
THE PERFECT TIME FOR A DIAGNOSIS
The preschool and kindergarten years are the perfect time to look for the red flags of developmental delays and disabilities. To see if your child is at risk for struggles in school and with learning, check out our curated list of early warning signs.
NOTE: It is important to be aware that children with one learning disability often have coexisting disabilities.
- Late talking, compared to other children
- Pronunciation problems
- Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week
- Extremely restless and easily distracted
- Trouble interacting with peers
- Poor ability to follow directions or routines
KINDERGARTEN – FOURTH GRADE
- Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
- Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
- Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
- Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs like +, -, x, /, =
- Slow recall of facts
- Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
- Impulsiveness, lack of planning
- Unstable pencil grip
- Trouble learning about time
- Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents
Most Common Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia: A language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding words, sentences, or paragraphs
Dyscalculia: A mathematical disability in which a person has a very difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts
Dysgraphia: A writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters correctly or write within a defined space
Dyspraxia: A developmental disorder that affects the way the brain processes information in relationship to coordination and fine motor skills.
Auditory and Visual Processing Disabilities: A sensory disability in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision
Social and Emotional Disabilities: An ability to interact appropriately with others and show appropriate emotional responses.
Find a comprehensive list of learning disabilities here.
If you have seen some red flags of possible learning disabilities in your own child, make an action plan now.
First, write down all of your concerns and share them with your child’s medical practitioner.
It’s also a good practice to schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher. Share any concerns you have and ask this important question: Is my child on track with development compared to other children his/her age?
If after all this, you still feel that your child is facing the possibility of struggles in learning and at school, ask your school for an assessment.