How to Find out if your Kids have a Learning Disability

A, B, C, D….okay, everyone knows the alphabet. People are well aware that it is the foundation to their children’s learning process in their formative years, it is the basis from which all words which are written and spoken are formed. But in today’s society, these precious letters stand for much more. Here is an example; “A” is for Autism or perhaps ADD. And “D” stands for Dyslexia. “M” is for Memory Disorder. And then of course, “C” stands for Concerta, a medication used in the treatment of ADD. Or there is also the big “R” for Ritalin, perhaps the most renowned treatment of ADHD. But what about the letter “H”? This stands for, “How do I know if any of these pertain to my child”?

For many parents, the thought of their child suffering from a learning disorder brings about many different emotions. Denial, sadness, fear of the unknown, and quite possibly guilt. While of these feelings are absolutely normal, for the sake of your child you must keep a clear head and remain as objective as possible. There are many “labels” out there these days, and sometimes it seems as though the school systems are quick to use them. So as your child’s parent and protector, you need to watch for specific warning signs yourself, an indicator that will let you know that there may actually be a problem and then proceed from there. Here are a few things to watch for.

Letter confusion

Nearly every child in the early years of their education will need some time to learn how to properly write their letters. It’s a new concept them, an element that their little minds must adapt to. I have yet to see a youngster know the difference between the letters “b” and “d” right from the get go. However, if the problem continues, especially into first or second grade, then you may want to have them tested for possible Dyslexia.

Inability to focus

If when you are sitting with your child at night, attempting to help them with their homework, and you notice that they have ants in their pants, are constantly looking around the room, or have to be constantly playing with something in their hands, these may all be indicators of ADD or ADHD. If they have also been doing poorly in school with no other reasonable explanation, the best thing you can do is have them observed in the classroom as well. At this point, if the school feels that one of these two “labels” may be a possibility, you and your child’s teacher will both fill out a questionnaire. At this juncture, you need to make an appointment with your pediatrician so that he can look over the forms and do his own examination, and together the two of you can develop the best plan of action for your little one.

Developmental delays

I don’t know too many parents who haven’t compared their children’s developmental stages with one another. I believe we do this out of fear that our kids didn’t walk or talk as soon as they should have, or that they are falling behind their peers in their motor skills. While it’s true that every child develops at his/her own pace, there comes a time when they should should be up to speed with their fine motor skills. If by kindergarten they are unable to take a group of blocks and build something, anything, then you may have a slight cause for concern. If caught early enough, more complex problems in their learning process can be averted.

Problems communicating

So he’s a little shy? This may be true. It’s quite possible that your child socializes perfectly within your family, but once in a group setting, they become an introvert. Again, in a strange environment, they may just need time to open up and find their comfort zone, but if the problem persists for an extended period of time, this could be an early indicator of Autism. While no parent wants to face this reality, avoiding it will only cause more detriment to your child.

The most important thing that you have to remember if you are on the verge of having your child tested for a learning disability is that many children who become diagnosed are considered to be of either average or above average intelligence. A diagnosis or “label” does not mean that your child is destined for a life of failure. Another key note here is to be as involved in the process as you can possibly be. Never let the school, your pediatrician, or a psychologist tell you what you must do for your baby. If you do not feel comfortable with medicating them, then don’t. Their are alternative treatments. Just be as observant as you can be and rest assured that your child will excel in their life.