The term “learning disability” can strike a chord of panic in parents. “But my child is smart! How can she have a learning disability?” is a common reaction. And the reality is, they’re right! The majority of kids and teens (and adults!) with learning disabilities are intelligent—even geniuses! Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Walt Disney, and plenty more all had learning disabilities of some kind. How is that possible? Just look at some of the most common learning struggles and how kids try to work around them:
What it is: Trouble with words; difficulty reading
How kids work around it: Avoiding reading, looking at pictures for clues, memorization, watching videos of required books
Things to watch for: Not remembering what was just read (weak comprehension), struggling to pronounce new words, difficulty transferring what is heard to what is seen and vice versa, weak at letter sound discrimination (e.g., pin, pen), poor spelling
The root cause: Weak phonemic awareness (the ability to hear and manipulate the 45 individual phonemes in the English language)
What it is: A broad term used to cover a variety of attention deficit disorders, including inattentive ADHD (i.e., “ADD”), hyperactive ADHD, and combined ADHD
How kids work around it: For inattentive ADHD, (which is more common in girls than the hyperactive type), they may ask friends for notes, look up answers online and rely on parental help to stay organized. For hyperactive ADHD, kids may frequently ask for a bathroom pass or make up excuses to leave their seat
Things to watch for: Fidgeting, overactivity, squirming in seat, jumping from one activity to another without completing work, purposeless or non-goal-directed activity
The root cause: Weak attention skills (sustained, divided, selective, and/or a combination of them)
What it is: Trouble with numbers; math struggles
How kids work around it: Using calculators, looking things up online, looking up answers in the back of the book
Things to watch for: Confusion over math symbols, reversing or transposing numbers, trouble with sequencing, difficulty with mental math, trouble telling time and direction, problems grasping and remembering math concepts
The root cause: Although genetics can play a role, the main cause is generally poor visual processing and memory skills (i.e., working and long-term)
Take Home Message:
If you suspect your child has one of these three learning disabilities, consider taking them in for a cognitive skills assessment. Once you know which skills are weakest, you can look into customized cognitive skills training programs.
Other Tips for Parents:
If you are interested in giving your child the tools he/she needs to begin another successful year of school and for future social situations, check our the following guide that will help with anxiety and concentration:
We love yoga and hope that you do (or will too!). Yoga is a fantastic form of exercise that is of benefit to children and adults alike, helping in a multitude of areas:
- Increased concentration,
- Better sleep,
- Improved confidence, and
- A sense of empowerment.
Yoga is awesome!
We hope this information was helpful and thanks for reading our latest blog article!
Until next time . . .
Brought to you by:
- LearningRx: Brain Training and cognitive skills testing helps struggling children and adults think, remember, read and learn better; and
- The Epiphany School of Charlotte is a non-profit, independent day school dedicated to providing proven programs for students with Asperger’s or other social communication differences.