Signs and Symptoms of Learning Disabilities (page 2)
Parents are often the first to suspect that something is wrong, when we see a child struggling in ways that her friends and siblings are not. We may comfort ourselves with the notion it’s developmental, or that he’ll grow out of it. But in our hearts we know that something is not right.
The following comments are typical. They serve as clues to the possible presence of learning disabilities or an attention deficit disorder (or both).
- He seems to get it one day, but not the next.
- I have to tell her everything twice.
- He understands what I tell him, but not what he’s been asked to read.
- He does the wrong problem, or doesn't complete an assignment, or forgets to hand it in.
- She feels as if everyone else catches on faster.
- He has trouble saying the days of the week or months of the year in the correct order, telling left from right and reading a clock.
- She has a hard time memorizing lines, math facts, or dates.
- His reading is slow, labored and error-prone — and he cannot spell!
- Her skills in organizing, planning and managing her time are sadly lacking.
- He does fine with reading and memorization, but he’s clumsy, has weak visual/ spatial abilities — and has a hard time making friends.
Kids with learning disabilities frequently have difficulty with language processing—often including reading, writing, speaking, listening and/or math—and often, like those diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit disorder), struggle with organization, attention, memory, social and/or motor skills and sometimes with visual-spatial skills.
They may also be very smart, and often have great strengths in areas such as visualizing and working in 3 dimensions (common to architects, engineers, artists and surgeons); music and the performing arts; math or science; writing and poetry; and leadership. (See our Success Stories)
Because learning disabilities and ADHD are invisible, the greatest obstacle we face is in recognizing – and assisting others in recognizing -- that these kids need our help.
The moment they enter school, kids with LD and ADHD are at risk. Although they may be very bright and have many strengths, their invisible disabilities interfere with their ability to learn in school. The brain circuitry for thinking and learning for these children is, simply, different.
If they get the help they need and are confident that we believe in them, these kids can succeed and will often excel.
Reprinted with the permission of Smart Kids with LD. © Smart Kids with LD, Inc., Westport, Connecticut. All rights reserved.
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