Does your child struggle with school?
Does he or she dread reading out loud, writing an essay, or tackling a math problem? While every child has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disorder.
By understanding all you can about learning disabilities, you can ensure your child gets the right help to overcome classroom challenges and succeed in life.
What are learning disabilities?
Learning disabilities or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.
Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.
Children with learning disabilities can and do succeed
It can be tough to face the possibility that your child has a learning disorder. No parents want to see their children suffer. You may wonder what it could mean for your child’s future, or worry about how your kid will make it through school. Perhaps you’re concerned that by calling attention to your child's learning problems he or she might be labeled "slow" or assigned to a less challenging class.
But the important thing to remember is that most kids with learning disabilities are just as smart as everyone else. They just need to be taught in ways that are tailored to their unique learning styles. By learning more about learning disabilities in general, and your child’s learning difficulties in particular, you can help pave the way for success at school and beyond.
Parents can help children with learning disabilities to succeed by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.
Facts About learning Disabilities
Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability, according to the US National Institutes of Health.
Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
Learning disabilities often run in families.
Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities.
Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.
Common Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia – a language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as reading disability or reading disorder.
Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
Dysgraphia – a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders – sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities – a neurological disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.