My oldest child was born 3 months premature.
It was expected that he could have some sort of developmental delay.
It was expected that he could develop some sort of developmental disability.
It was expected that he could always be behind his peers developmentally and academically.
And maybe it should have been expected that he would have additional complications.
It was the unexpected learning disability though that would ultimately define his IEP goals.
He had two brain hemorrhages in his first two weeks of life and the resulting scar tissue lead to his later diagnosis of ataxic cerebral palsy.
He received physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy for the first year of his life at home.
Then, at the recommendation of the school district, he was held back after completing first grade.
It wasn’t until later that his teachers began to suspect that there was something else going on. That it went beyond his existing diagnosis. Sure, he had problems with writing but his memory was sharp. But something just wasn’t adding up.
Early Warning Signs of a Learning Disability
If your child has a learning disability, it is helpful to know.
When a parent knows what their child is dealing with, they are able to find them the resources and assistance that they need in order to deal with challenges more easily. To be able to spot a learning disability, a parent needs to know what the signs are. Here are some of them so you can keep your eyes open.
Does your child struggle to learn concepts at home? How about at school? Your child’s teacher can be one of your first signs to confirming that your child may have a learning disability. If you suspect a learning disability in your child, get his or her teacher’s opinion.
Your Child Hates School
If your child tells you that he hates school, it could be because of a number of reasons. There are many things that could cause a child to struggle in school. Don’t dismiss your child’s concerns if he is reluctant to attend school.
If he has many friends, is not being bullied, and does not have interpersonal problems with anyone else such as the teacher, there could be a learning disability involved.
A child will generally not enjoy any activity that makes him feel stupid, and unfortunately that is how children with learning disabilities often feel before they realize what the true problem is. At times, learning disabilities can invite situations such as bullying, so don’t immediately write off the possibility of a learning disability even if there are other issues.
Our intuition can be a great ally to us if we allow it to. If something is simply not right with your child’s learning, you may already suspect it. If something is leading you to believe that your child may have a learning disability, ask for your child to be tested.
Is Your Child on a Par with Peers?
Although all children learn at a different pace, there are times when there is enough of a difference that it may tip you off to a deeper issue. If your child’s peers all appear to be effortlessly learning new concepts and your child is one of the few struggling, get help.
When the other children are all further ahead in their learning and yours still struggles, this may be because of an undiagnosed learning disability.
Difficulty Understanding and Expressing
A clear sign of a learning disability can be difficulty in understanding oral and written commands and instructions. Your child may also find it difficult to express what they need.
If your child is struggling with directions or you find miscommunications happening regularly between you, a learning disability may be involved.
Learning disabilities are not always easy to detect.
Every child has different symptoms. There are however, some key areas that show signs in a more obvious way. If any of these areas is pointing you towards the possibility of a learning disability in your child, pursue it.
The sooner you know what your child is dealing with, the sooner you can help them on their way to achieving their full potential.
Common Forms of Learning Disabilities
There are many types of learning disabilities affecting children and even adults.
The most common forms of learning disabilities are:
* Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders
* Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
As a common form of learning disability, dyslexia is a type of language-based disability. A person with dyslexia, called a dyslexic, often has trouble understanding written words. Thus, it is most often referred to as a reading disability or reading disorder.
This form of learning disability has to do with a person’s mathematical skills. Apparently, a person with dyscalculia has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
Dysgraphia is somewhat related to dyslexia. However, while dyslexia is a reading disorder, dysgraphia refers to the learning disability of a person who finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space. A person with dysgraphia usually has no trouble reading letters, but they have trouble forming these letters.
Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders
These refer to sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language. A person with this kind of learning disability has normal hearing and vision.
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Originating in the right hemisphere of the brain, nonverbal learning disabilities are a kind of neurological disorder that causes a person to have problems with his visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative, and holistic processing functions.
V has since been diagnosed with a learning disorder (we suspect dysgraphia or a possible visual processing disorder) and a nonverbal learning disability. This has been incredibly helpful for his IEP planning because it ensures that he gets the proper support in school.
Still, it was the unexpected learning disability that we weren’t prepared for. But with planning and involvement from his teachers, we’ve been able to develop a support system.
From Around the Web
I am honored to be participating with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a monthly post on parenting a child with special needs. This month’s theme is all about the Early Signs.
Autism What to Know and Signs to Watch For | Natural Beach Living
How to Recognize Signs of a Mood Disorder in Young Children | Every Star is Different
Sensory Processing Red Flags | Lemon Lime Adventures
Seeing the Signs of Childhood Trauma | STEAM Powered Family
Recognising signs as a first time special needs parent | My Home Truths
Hemophilia, Juvenile Arthritis, and Allergies… Oh my | Grace and Green Pastures
Myths About Recognizing Developmental Delays | Life Over C’s
Recognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder | The Chaos and The Clutter
7 Sanity-Saving Tips if You Think Your Child has Special Needs | B-Inspired Mama
When They Say It’s Just Your Parenting | This Outnumbered Mama
Signs That Your Early Reader Has Hyperlexia | And Next Comes L
Forgiving Myself for Denying the Signs of Autism in My Daughter | Parenting Chaos