I am the mother of a 4 year old child and my child’s teacher thinks that my child may have a learning disability. I am not sure what I should be looking for in my child! Please help!
You are very fortunate to have a teacher that is bringing this to your attention, as most learning disabilities tend to be noticed in the classroom. Teachers spend a significant amount of time with students, so they may detect certain things that parents may not pick up at home.
A learning disability can best be defined as a neurological disorder that limits one’s ability to process, store and produce information. It may affect one’s ability to read, speak, write and do mathematics. Studies show that approximately fifteen percent of schools gets children that suffer from a learning disability.
Learning disabilities can vary in subtly, and despite a child having average to above average intelligence, the child may not show full potential in academics.
The most common risk factor for learning disabilities is family history, however occurences such as head injuries, lead poisoning, poor nutritional intake, child abuse and/or pregnancy complications are also less common factors. Learning disabilities can also be caused by central nervous system infections, and cancer related treatments.
So what are some signs that a child may have a learning disability:
- child losing interest in learning or avoiding daily challenges.
- signs of frustration and anger while in the classroom or doing homework.
- poor handwriting
- difficulty spelling
- difficulty with coordination
- delayed speech
- difficulty reasoning, following instructions and/or organizing thoughts
- signs of withdrawal, anxiety, depression, or low self esteem.
- mispronunciations or difficulty with the letters of the alphabet (reading, or writing the letters.)
If the child’s parent(s), teacher or physician suspect that a child has a learning disability, the school system can evaluate the child for learning disabilities free of charge. The sooner the learning disability is detected, the better it is for the child, as resources can be obtained quickly if needed.
If all parties involved in the child’s life including the teacher, parents and physician work together, the child’s learning disability can be detected, diagnosed and treated appropriately.