A child learning disability can contribute to learning and academic problems, as well as 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.
Use the following checklists to help you explore whether your child exhibits the warning signs that might signal a learning disability.
Warning Signs of a Child Learning Disability in Pre-School or Kindergarten
Does the child experience problems with the following?
Warning Signs of a Child Learning Disability in Elementary School Children
Does the child exhibit the following concerns?
Children who struggle to learn and keep up with their peers at school may have a learning disability. The learning disabled child performs poorly in one or more academic areas and well below expectations based on the child’s age, education level and IQ. A child learning disability is characterized by specific weaknesses in one or more of the basic 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 learning disabled children exhibit auditory processing deficits. This includes problems discriminating, sequencing and comprehending sounds. These children 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 learning disabled children 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, and nonsense syllables, sentences, digits and objects, whether they view this information or hear it.
Learning disabled children may also show executive skill 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 as well. Children with expressive language problems experience difficulties expressing 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?
Dr. O'Connor offers Psychological Assessments to help children and adolescents who are exhibiting learning problems and showing signs of a learning disability.