Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brain's ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. They are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation.These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who isn't affected by learning disabilities.
There are many kinds of learning disabilities. Most students affected by them have more than one kind. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.
The way our brains process information is extremely complex. For example when we look at a picture our brain does not only have to form the lines into an image, But it also has to recognize what the image stands for, relate that image to other facts stored in our memories, and then store this new information.
It’s not always easy to identify learning disabilities because of the wide variations. There is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages.
The following checklist lists some common red flags for learning disorders:
Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Problems pronouncing words
- Trouble finding the right word
- Difficulty rhyming
- Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week
- Difficulty following directions or learning routines
- Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or colouring within the lines
- Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes
Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
- Unable to blend sounds to make words
- Confuses basic words when reading
- Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
- Trouble learning basic math concepts
- Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences
- Slow to learn new skills
Ages 10-13 signs and symptoms of learning disabilities
- Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
- Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
- Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
- Spells the same word differently in a single document
- Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
- Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
- Poor handwriting
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