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Home Education School Help for a Child With Learning Disabilities

Help for a Child With Learning Disabilities

It may be a surprise, or even a shock, when your child’s teacher reports he is having learning problems in the classroom. Learning disabilities can be identified at any age, and the signs are different based on the age.

Here are some signs to look for according to LD OnLine (LDonline.com):

Grades K-4

  • Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), and inversions (m/w),
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs
  • Slow to remember facts
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
  • Impulsive, difficulty planning
  • Unstable pencil grip
  • Trouble learning about time
  • Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents

Grades 5-8

  • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
  • Slow to learn spelling strategies
  • Avoids reading aloud and writing assignments
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions

High School Students and Adults

  • Frequently misspells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
  • Avoids reading and writing tasks
  • Trouble summarizing
  • Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
  • Weak memory skills
  • Difficulty adjusting to new settings
  • Works slowly
  • Poor grasp of abstract concepts
  • Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much
  • Misreads information

If you think your child displays one or more of these signs, consider getting him or her tested. Identifying the learning disorder early is key to successful intervention. Learning disabilities aren’t curable. However, with support children can find ways of dealing with them.

The steps to getting help vary, depending on whether your child attends public or private school. But a good first step is a meeting with your child’s teacher and the school’s guidance counselor. Most schools offer free testing; however, the process and paperwork can be arduous. Private specialists are also available if you want to bypass your school’s testing or get a second opinion.

By Lindsey Athanitis

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