LD-ADHD Center Learning Disorders
If your child struggles with learning, might he or she be showing signs or symptoms of a learning disability? Our professional staff can help you with identifying and diagnose a learning disability if necessary. We will help with addressing your specific areas of concern.
What is a learning disorder?
A child with a learning disorder cannot try harder, pay closer attention, or improve motivation on their own; they need help to learn how to do those things. A learning disorder, or learning disorder, is not a problem with intelligence. Learning disorders are caused by a difference in the brain that affects how information is received, processed, or communicated. Children and adults with learning disorders have trouble processing sensory information because they see, hear, and understand things differently.
Have you ever heard or thought of one of these statements?
“He/she has the ability, if he/she just tried harder, he/she could do it. He/she chooses not to do the work.”
“If he/she would just pay attention, he/she would get it.”
“After I give the instructions, he/she sits there and stares at his/her paper. He/she is not motivated.”
Hope for learning disorders?
The brain can change. Science has made great strides in understanding the inner workings of the brain, and one important discovery that brings new hope for learning disorders is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s natural, lifelong ability to change to form new connections and generate new brain cells in response to experience and learning. This knowledge has led to groundbreaking new treatments for learning disorders that harness the power of neuroplasticity to retrain the brain.
Common Learning Disorders
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), while not considered a learning disability, can certainly disrupt learning. Children with ADHD often have problems with sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organized, and completing homework.
Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from Pervasive Developmental Disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children with an autism spectrum disorder may have trouble making friends, reading body language, communicating, and making eye contact.
Learning disabilities in math vary greatly depending on the child’s other strengths and weaknesses. A child’s ability to do math will be affected differently by a language learning disability, or a visual disorder or a difficulty with sequencing, memory or organization.
A child with a math–based learning disorder may struggle with memorization and organization of numbers, operation signs, and number “facts” (like 5+5=10 or 5×5=25). Children with math learning disorders might also have trouble with counting principles (such as counting by 2s or counting by 5s) or have difficulty telling time.
Language and communication learning disabilities involve the ability to understand or produce spoken language. Language is also considered an output activity because it requires organizing thoughts in the brain and calling upon the right words to verbally explain something or communicate with someone else.
Signs of a language–based learning disorder involve problems with verbal language skills, such as the ability to retell a story and the fluency of speech, as well as the ability to understand the meaning of words, parts of speech, directions, etc.
There are two types of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. Reading comprehension problems occur when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.
Signs of reading difficulty include problems with:
– Letter and word recognition
– Understanding words and ideas
– Reading speed and fluency
– General vocabulary skills
Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing or the mental activity of comprehending and synthesizing information. Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters. Expressive writing disability indicates a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.
Symptoms of a written language learning disability revolve around the act of writing and include.
They may include problems with:
– Neatness and consistency of writing
– Accurately copying letters and words
– Spelling consistency
– Writing organization and coherence
The eyes and the ears are the primary means of delivering information to the brain, a process sometimes called “input”. If either the eyes or the ears aren’t working properly, learning can suffer and there is a greater likelihood of a learning disability or disorder.
Professionals may refer to the ability to hear well as “auditory processing skills” or “receptive language”. The ability to hear things correctly greatly impacts the ability to read, write and spell. An inability to distinguish subtle differences in sound, or hearing sounds at the wrong speed make it difficult to sound out words and understand the basic concepts of reading and writing.
Problems in visual perception include missing subtle differences in shapes, reversing letters or numbers, skipping words, skipping lines, misperceiving depth or distance, or having problems with eye–hand coordination. Professionals may refer to the work of the eyes as “visual processing”. Visual perception can affect gross and fine motor skills and reading comprehension.
Sometimes kids have trouble expressing their feelings, calming themselves down, and reading nonverbal cues, which can lead to difficulty in the classroom and with their peers.
Social and emotional skills are an area where you can have a huge impact as a parent. For all children, but especially those with learning disabilities, social and emotional skills are the most consistent indicators of success, outweighing everything else, including academic factors.
Academic challenges may lead to low self–esteem, withdrawal and behavior problems, but you can counter these things by creating a strong support system for your child and helping them learn to express themselves, deal with frustration and work through challenges.
Your focus on their growth as a person, and not just on academic achievements will help them learn good emotional habits and the right tools for lifelong success.