Does my Child have a Learning Disability?

Hearing the words “Learning Disability” would scare any parent.  Parents have irrational thoughts that their child is defective or not as smart as her peers. Parents believe their child is doomed and will never live up to what will be expected from her in society.

A learning disability is on the contrary, not related to your child’s intellect at all.  Some children with learning disabilities grow up to accomplish great things in life – it is thought that even Einstein had learning disabilities as a child. Children with a learning disability differ from their friends in the way that their brains receive, process, analyze and store information.  It is usually shown as problems with maths, reading and written expression.  In other words these children hear, see or understand things differently than most of us.  About 4 million children in the US are currently thought to have some or the other learning disability.

Possible signs of a Learning Disability:

  • Difficulty speaking or vocalizing
  • Problems with reading
  • Problems with writing
  • Difficulty in solving mathematical problems
  • Problems with communication
  • Short attention span, or concentration problems
  • Struggling to follow instructions
  • Struggling with work that you would expect that she should me able to master.

Before any diagnosis of a learning disability can be made, a professional physician should rule out any possibility of a vision or hearing problem. In the absence of any physical problems, we can differentiate between the following three learning disabilities:

  1. Reading Disorder: Children with this learning disability struggle with reading accuracy, reading speed or understanding the meaning of what they have read.
  2. Mathematics Disorder: These children struggle with calculation or mathematical reasoning.
  3. Disorder of Written Expression: There is generally a combination of difficulties in the child’s ability to compose written texts as shown by grammatical or punctuation errors in sentences, poor paragraph organization, multiple spelling errors, and extremely bad handwriting.

What You as a Parent can do to Help your Child:

Your behavior as a parent will impact on your child’s ability to deal with this disability and ultimately your child’s success.  Parents should assure your child of your constant unconditional love and support. A good attitude will boost your child’s confidence and give her hope for the future.  As a parent, you should keep this problem in perspective and remember that it is only one aspect of your child – a learning disability does not define your child. Keep on researching your child’s disability and become an expert in the field.  You have to be an advocate for your child to protect their rights and get the best possible education for your child.  Your influence socially and also intimately in your child’s life is the key factor in success.