How to recognize the most common learning disabilities in children and how to help them succeed

Does your child have a certain area of learning that is consistently problematic? If so, it could indicate a learning disability. At Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, we know that a learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Students with learning disabilities typically have average to above average IQ’s; their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.

You may wonder what it could mean for your child’s future or worry how he will get through school. But, since it is not a matter of intelligence, he just needs to be taught in ways that are tailored to his unique learning style.

The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening and speaking. If your child is in school, the types of learning disorders that are most conspicuous usually revolve around reading, writing and math.

Dyslexia-Learning Disability in Reading
Difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words or an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases and paragraphs.

Dyscalculia-Learning Disability in Math
Struggle with memorization and organization of numbers, operations, signs and number “facts” (5 + 5 = 10) or with counting principles (counting by 2’s) or having difficulty telling time.

Dysgraphia-Learning Disability in Writing
Physical difficulty forming words and letters or a struggle organizing thoughts on paper.

Science has made great strides in understanding the inner workings of the brain that bring new hope for those with learning disabilities. One such discovery is neuroplasticity which refers to the brain’s lifelong ability to change. Throughout life, the brain is able to form new connections and generate new brain cells in response to learning and experience. This has led to new treatments that take advantage of the brain’s ability to change. For example, for children who have trouble distinguishing between different sounds in a word, there are new computer-based learning programs that slow down the sounds so that children can understand them and gradually increase their speed of comprehension.

Though it is not always easy to accept a diagnosis of a learning disability, the sooner it is identified the sooner you can get your child help. Even if the symptoms seem clear, it is important to have your child tested and evaluated by a qualified professional. Diagnosis is a process. It involves testing, history taking and observation.

The important thing to remember is that learning disabilities are not about intelligence. Children with learning disabilities see, hear and understand things differently. By learning more about learning disabilities in general, and your child’s learning disability in particular, you can pave the way for success at school and beyond.

Need more information, help or testing? For 27 years, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics Inc. has been recognized as the undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring in Delaware. In addition, the company offers a unique Department of Education-approved Private School for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for ages 16 and older. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

Contact Beverly Stewart, M.Ed. at 302-594-0754 or at beverly@backtobasicslearning.com

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