Young people who suffer from a Specific Learning Disability show academic problems and difficulties learning. They may also show behavioral and emotional concerns. Behavioral and emotional concerns can occur as a consequence of the learning stress, anxiety and frustration that is often associated with a learning disability in children.
Use the following checklists to help you explore whether your child exhibits the warning signs that might signal a Specific Learning Disability.
Signs of a Specific Learning Disability in Pre-School or Kindergarten Children
Does the child experience problems with the following?
Signs of a Specific Learning Disability in Elementary School Children
Does the child exhibit problems with the following?
Children who struggle to learn and keep up with their peers at school may have a specific learning disability. Despite average thinking and reasoning skills the learning disabled child performs poorly in one or more academic areas and well below expectations based on the child’s age, educational and intellectual functioning levels. A Specific Learning Disability is characterized by specific weaknesses in one or more of the basic neuro-psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language.
The term does not include children who experience learning problems as a result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, or developmental delays or emotional disturbance. Nor does it apply to children who experience learning problems that are primarily the result of environmental or economic disadvantage.
Some young people who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability exhibit auditory processing deficits. This includes problems discriminating, sequencing and comprehending sounds. These young people find it hard to assign meaning to sounds and remember the association between the sound and its letter. Processing and remembering auditory or verbal information, including lesson content and concepts, instructions or letters and numbers and words is also often difficult.
Other young people with a specific learning disability may exhibit visual processing difficulties. These children respond more slowly to visual material and experience problems remembering, organizing and understanding visual information.
In addition, learning disabled children often have memory problems. They recall fewer items from lists of letters, words, nonsense syllables, sentences, digits and objects, whether they view this information or hear it. They may also have difficulty remembering verbal narrative material such as the content and/or details of stories that are read to them. They may have difficulty, as well, remembering visual material, such as visual spatial locations, faces and visual-abstract material.
Learning disabled children may also show executive function deficits, including failure to consider and use appropriate strategies to complete tasks and to monitor how well they are doing.
Language skills can also be weak. Language based learning weaknesses compromise learning in all academic skill areas, including spelling, writing, reading and math. Language is also tied to thinking and information processing.
Language based learning deficits include problems with:
Children with language based learning disabilities experience problems with receptive language, or understanding what is said to them. Expressive language weaknesses are often evident. Children with expressive language problems experience difficulties verbally expressing, organizing and retrieving their ideas, thoughts and needs.
Problem is the Key to Solving It." A Psychological Assessment or School Neuropsychological Evaluation can increase your understanding of a child's learning problems and help you get "to the root" of the problem and find evidence based interventions to address it.
Find out where things are going well and where you might need to intervene to help?