Spot the Symptoms of a Learning Disability

Roughly 15 percent of American schoolchildren are affected by learning disabilities. To provide the best education for your child, learn to recognize and respond to learning disability symptoms.

Each weekday morning, you say goodbye to your child, sending him or her to school to grow in knowledge. You want to provide the best education you can, because you love your wonderful kid. However, many children don’t learn in the traditional manner, and if your child is among that group, providing the best may mean checking for a learning disability.

Investigating and Identifying

Discover whether your child may be dealing with a learning disability using these observational steps:

  • Watch how your child carries out your instructions at home.
  • Meet with teachers to discuss his or her performance and behavior in the classroom.
  • Record dated information detailing the opinions of professionals.
  • Sit with your child as he or she does homework, and note difficulties that arise.

If you suspect your child has a learning disability, contact the school administration and ask for a comprehensive educational evaluation.

Behavioral Symptoms

Children with learning disabilities sometimes act out their struggles in social contexts. This may be because they are having trouble learning the behavior you’ve been trying to teach. At other times, children may misbehave because of frustrations at school.

If a child with a learning disability is dealing with academic problems, he or she may suffer from poor self-perception as well. Treating a learning disability like a deficiency is inappropriate, since the condition merely reflects a different manner of thinking. You can honestly approach your child about learning disabilities by explaining that children with disabilities have many strengths that just need to be developed differently.

Parental Reality Check

Remember: No child always performs at a superior level. If your son or daughter comes home with a lower-than-normal grade, it doesn’t necessarily signify a learning disability. Just be sure to continue monitoring your child’s grades and progress to see if it becomes a trend.

Visit and select “Developmental-Behavioral” under “Pediatric Specialties” to learn more about learning disability services at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.

Reviewed by Ernie Smith, M.D., developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.

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One Response to Spot the Symptoms of a Learning Disability

  1. Susan Harmison says:

    In your article on Learning Disabilities you include the statement that a parent should ask for a comprehensive educational evaluation. As a parent is allowed to ask for an evaluation, Response to Instruction is currently the state law used to identify a student with a learning disability. Evaluations completed by psychologists no longer use a discrepancy model to place students in a special education program. The data collected through RtI is the basis for a special education placement.

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