Identifying and Coping with Learning Disabilities in Children

Jun 6 • 2016

Every child is different and will learn at his or her own pace. However, if you notice your little one is struggling to reach developmental milestones, there could be a chance that he or she has a learning disability. It is estimated that one out of every five people in the United States is living with a learning disability, so your child is not alone. Knowing what signs to look for and how to adjust after a diagnosis can help make sure your son or daughter is set up for success.

Signs of Learning Disabilities in Children

One reason that parents miss the signs of a learning disability is that they can show themselves before a child is even old enough to read or write. Some difficulties to look out for, especially in kids 3-5 years old, include:

  • Difficulty with the alphabet
  • Trouble rhyming words
  • Pronouncing words incorrectly
  • Bad spelling
  • Reversing words or letters
  • Replacing words
  • Trouble copying things, including shapes and letters
  • Problems with math
  • Trouble remembering things and staying organized
  • Difficulty listening, staying on task, and paying attention

Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities

If you have identified these symptoms, you’ll want to speak with your child’s teacher to see what other signs she may have noticed. You can also ask the teacher to provide a referral for additional educational testing that can help diagnose particular learning disabilities. Depending on what your child is coping with, you may also want to see a neuropsychologist or speech and language pathologist to determine what steps should be taken next.

While there are no cures for learning disabilities, identifying them and working to address the issues early on can help lessen the impact they have on your child. Work with his or her teachers and doctors to identify coping strategies, and to provide as much support as possible. By staying positive, you can prevent depression and low self-esteem that can come as a result of feeling frustrated by the disability. Special education can also be a great way to help your child work toward his or her goals in school. In this environment, classes are less restrictive and are designed specifically to meet your child’s needs and skills.

If you think your child may be suffering from a learning disability, speak with your doctor today for more information and to receive personalized recommendations for your family.