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5 Signs Your Child May Have a Learning Disability


As parents, we always hope our children will never have to face struggles or problems, in school or anywhere else. However, as a parent, it's also our job to pay attention to our kids and any issues that might crop up. In the case of learning disabilities, keeping a close eye on your children is one of the best ways to catch problems early on, making it that much more likely that your child can get the help she needs as early in her school career as possible.

Some signs of a possible learning disability are fairly blatant, while others are more subtle. Some things to look out for as your child begins acquiring speech, writing and reading skills include:

1. Delayed Language Acquisition

While children work on their own time tables as far as language learning, if your child hasn't met basic milestones it might be a good idea to consult with your pediatrician to check for hearing problems, auditory processing problems, or other issues.

2. Difficulty with Pronunciation

Many children have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, and most will overcome these difficulties with time. However, if pronunciation difficulty is accompanied by delayed language acquisition or other issues, it could be indicative of a learning issue. If your child has a hard time differentiating between different sounds, this could indicate an auditory processing disorder.

3. Inability to Concentrate

Many children have no problem concentrating on things that interest them, but lose the ability to stay attentive when they find things "boring." However, if your child has difficulty concentrating across the board, this could be an early sign of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Hand in hand with an inability to concentrate, an inability to sit still or a child that is easily distracted could also be exhibiting early signs of ADD.

4. Delayed Development of Motor Skills

Again, mastering physical skills varies from child to child, but particularly delayed development can be indicative of a problem. Problems coordinating fine motor skills could be due to dyspraxia, a sensory integration disorder that affects hand-eye coordination, balance and other motor skills.

5. Reversing Letters

With children beginning to read, difficulty connecting sounds to symbols could indicate a learning disability. In addition, a tendency to reverse or transpose letters, numbers or mathematical symbols could be an early symptom of dyslexia, a fairly common learning disorder in which the brain does not correctly process language.

If your child exhibits any of these issues, it's best to consult with a pediatrician and pursue further testing if the doctor recommends it. If your child does prove to have a learning disability, don't panic. Research into numerous learning disabilities has resulted in many strategies for helping children overcome them. If your child does need additional help, most schools are equipped to assist by providing extra study aids or help from a counselor or tutor. Your continued observation and involvement in your child's education will also help ensure he can keep up with his peers and get the best education he possibly can.

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