Could My Child Have A Learning Disability?
Understanding A Child's Individual Needs
Children are as unique as a snowflake. They learn differently, and they will develop differently.
Of course, there are milestones. I’m sure you heard that from your doctor or other health professionals. They will say things like this;
- At this age, your child should walk.
- By this age, your child should be able to do this or that.
For the most part, all of those things are true, but there are exceptions.
I’m a mother for four. My last two kids, twin girls were born 12.5 weeks premature. They weren’t even nearly-done when they popped from the oven, but they were ready because they are here now. Of course, I wasn’t ready to receive them. I had at least a couple of more months to prepare for their birth. I had things to buy, plans to develop and of course things to do. Things, as you know, don’t always go as planned. That’s why those milestones and guidelines are not always precise.
The Development Process
Life, after all, is life. It’s a maturation process. We learn as we grow and we grow as we learn. Sometimes guidelines and milestones have to be tweaked. Anyone of considerable age knows that to be true. But what happens when it comes our kids growth and development?
We all want the best for our kids. We want them to have a better life than we had. We want them to be happy. We want them to succeed.
As they grow, we watch them. We notice how they grow and interact with other kids. We hope that our kids are “normal” as society dictates it because we don’t want them to stand out and be different.
I never understood what’s wrong with being different, but that’s another hub. In this hub, you’ll learn how to determine whether your son or daughter has a learning problem that might keep him or her back in school. You’ll also understand what to do about it if you think your child has a learning problem.
There are no clear signs to determine whether or not your child has a learning problem. Ask yourself to the following questions to determine if you need to seek help from a professional that can provide additional testing.
- Does your child have limited perception or have trouble seeing or hearing?
- Does your child exhibit undesirable behavior? For example is your child overly aggressive, depressed or extremely shy?
- Does your child have a lot of headaches, stomach aches or complain of excessive sleepiness or fatigue?
- Does your child have difficulty expressing ideas?
- Can your child understand things he or she hears and reads?
- Does your child like to watch television more than he likes to interact with others?
- Does your child eat properly?
- Is your child moody or irritable?
- Is your child shy or withdrawn at home or at school?
Did you answered yes to three or more of these problems? If so, your child may require professional help, but don’t jump to conclusions. Some children take longer than others to grow in some areas than other areas. One child may love reading, but have trouble understanding math. Sometimes time and patience is all that is needed. Other times a simple change in a child’s environment or how he or she learns may be the answer.
Common Causes of Learning Problems
Following are some of the most common causes of learning problems that may require professional help;
- Emotional Problems, Social and Behavior disorders
- Neurological disorders like dyslexia
- Dyslexia is a common problem that children do not outgrow, but they can learn to live with it. People with dyslexia have problems learning to read because they tend to reverse the letters of words, reverse letters or comprehend words upside down or backwards.
- Medical problems – impaired hearing, poor vision and/or glandular malfunctions
- Limited intelligence – Some children have a lower than average IQ, but they still have potential to live happy, fulfilled independent lives.
How to Get Help for a Child That Might Have a Learning Problem
There are many free and paid programs and services available to children with learning problems. The first step is to get an assessment of your child’s social, emotional and physical capabilities. You can do that at your child’s doctor’s office or a public health clinic. Your health insurance will usually pay for doctor’s visits and most public health clinics provide free services or they charge based on a sliding scale.
If your child is in school, talk to your child’s teachers and counselors about help. You can ask your child’s school to access your child for an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). Children with disabilities are entitled to free and appropriate public education. If your child has a disability, the school must develop an education program based on their needs at no cost to you. They will also provide all of the assessments free of charge.
Find help for your child as soon as you think he or she might have a learning problem. Delays can cause any problems that he or she has become worst. Remember you are your child’s leading advocate. Fight for your child today.