Generally, children may have difficulties learning a certain topic or skill. When they try hard enough and still find it challenging to learn a specific set of skills over time, it can be an indication of a learning disability.
By definition, a learning disability refers to a neurological condition that affects one or more cognitive processes such as the ability to send, receive, and process information. A child with this kind of disability may have struggles in listening, writing, speaking, and understanding concepts. The common types of learning disabilities can include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
But more than the definition, there are many things you should learn about the subject. So, keep reading this article to discover the fundamentals of learning disabilities that affect children.
- Medical Tests Cannot Cure Learning Disabilities
The first thing you need to know is that learning disabilities can’t be cured by medications. However, there are interventions and support options that can help children with learning disabilities improve in school. Although these interventions can’t cure the root cause of the problem, they can still live a normal life with the help of treatment or therapy.
The following are some interventions that the child’s doctor may recommend:
- Assistance from a trained professional: A tutor, for instance, can teach the child some techniques to help improve their academic skills. A trained professional can also enhance their studying skills.
- Therapy: Depending on the type of disability, a child can benefit from therapy. For example, if the child has speech difficulties, speech therapy may help. If they have motor problems, occupational therapy may be helpful.
- Alternative Therapy: There are instances wherein alternative therapies involving art, dance, and music can aid children with learning disabilities.
As you can see, there are plenty of interventions and support options that can benefit children with LD. In fact, there are organizations that provide them with opportunities to lead independent and fulfilling lives in a community that supports and protects them. For more information about these organizations, you can discover more here.
- Medical Tests Cannot Diagnose Learning Disabilities
While many researchers are thinking about the role of genetics in the development of learning disabilities in children, there are still no medical tests that can help diagnose if a child has one. Generally, identifying and detecting learning disabilities can be a complicated process.
Instead of running a brain scan or a blood test, the doctor will have to rule out any hearing, vision, and other developmental problems that can make the diagnosis of LD more difficult. When it comes to school-aged children, the families usually work together with the teacher to obtain information about their children’s school performance. From there, the professionals will conduct tests to verify the information before they come up with a diagnosis.
- Learning Disability Is Not Only Caused By The Environment
Many believe that a learning disability is only caused by the environment where the kids are raised. However, this belief may be misplaced. Some experts believe that learning disabilities don’t have a specific cause, including the environment. But some factors may contribute to the development of learning disabilities in children. These can include:
- Heredity: It has been observed that a child whose parents have learning disabilities will more likely acquire the same disability.
- Stress during infancy: Stressful circumstances that happen during infancy such as head injury and poor nutrition may contribute to the development of a learning disability in a child.
- Situations that happen during and after birth: Situations like physical trauma, low birth weight, premature or prolonged labor, and drug or alcohol consumption during pregnancy may cause learning disabilities in children. Birth defects may also result in some learning disabilities.
- The Signs Of Learning Disabilities May Vary
During psychological development, a child is expected to learn basic cognitive and motor skills. Any significant gap or delay in this process can be an indication of a learning disability. But, take note that the signs of learning disabilities may differ for each stage of childhood:
- Preschool: At this stage, a child with a learning disability may have difficulty pronouncing simple words, recognizing letters and words, focusing on tasks, following directions and rules, and developing speaking skills.
- Primary school: At this stage, a child may find it hard to remember numbers or facts, connect letters and sounds, read, spell, or write accurately, handle tasks involving fine motor skills, understand the concept of time, and many more.
- Middle school: During this stage, the signs of a learning disability in a child can include difficulty in writing, understanding facial expressions and body language, spelling similar words, and many others.
- High school: A child with a learning disability at this stage may find it challenging to spell words accurately, summarize, paraphrase or answer application problems, read and writing tasks, understand abstract concepts, and many more.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, there are so many things to learn about learning disabilities in children. Thus, if you suspect your child of having this kind of disability, keep this information in mind so you’ll know what to do to help them cope. Remember, having a learning disability doesn’t mean your child can’t live a normal, happy, and fulfilling life. With your help, they will grow happy and healthy—physically, mentally, and emotionally.