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What are the Signs or Symptoms of a Learning Disability?

Schoolboy Struggling with Math Problems

What is a learning disability?  How can you tell if your child has one?  It is estimated that approximately 10% of all students have some form of a learning disability.  The term learning disability is defined as a “neurological condition that interferes with a person’s ability to store, process, or produce information.  Learning disabilities can affect one’s ability to read, write, speak, spell, compute math, reason and also affect a person’s attention, memory, coordination, social skills and emotional maturity,” according to the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Children and adults with learning disabilities see and learn differently than neurotypical people, meaning their brains are wired in a different way.  This does not mean they are less intelligent.  In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else.  They just process information and learn their own unique way. 

Some signs to look for that may indicate a learning disability include the following: 

Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities

  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines
  • Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes

 Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences
  • Slow to learn new skills

Ages 10-13 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a single document
  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

The earlier the intervention the better!  If you suspect your child has a learning disability, don’t wait.  Talk to your child’s teacher and school counselor and seek advice on getting a diagnosis.  Once a diagnosis has been determined, your child will be able to get the help that they need.  You will need to be proactive in working with your child’s school to ensure accommodations are made for specialized academic needs.  You are your child’s advocate and you know them better than anyone else.  Learn as much as you can about your child’s learning disability and pursue all avenues for help.  If the school does not have the resources to optimally provide services for your child, you can pursue help on your own by hiring a tutor for additional school help.  Brock’s Academy can help tutor children with learning disabilities in your home.  For more information please give us a call at 425-483-1353.  We will work hard to help your child reach their highest potential!


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