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Learning Disabilities

learning disabilities

Do not let learning disabilities top you from teaching a child how to read!

Learning disabilities are known as neurologically-based processing problems. Which is why it’s important that parents must understand that these particular processing problems can often interfere with your child learning basic skills such as math, writing and reading. Learning disabilities can also interfere with far higher-level skills such as attention, short or long term memory, abstract reasoning, time planning and organization. It’s fundamental for parents to understand that learning disabilities can affect their child’s life beyond just academics and can impact on their relationships with friends, family, and also in the workplace. A learning disability is unable to be cured or fixed, which means it can typically become a lifelong challenge for both child and parent. However, with enough sufficient and appropriate support and intervention, children with learning disabilities can certainly achieve great success in school, in relationships and work.

Most common learning disabilities:

  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • ADHD

Can learning and reading difficulties be identified early?

The key for both parents and teachers is to be clearly aware of how a child is doing in terms of learning. Both teacher or parent should be prepared to act immediately and accordingly if they suspect there could be a learning problem. When a child has a reading-related difficulty, regardless of the difficulty being formally identified as a disability or not, the key for both parents and teachers is to:

  • Correctly determine the source and nature of a child’s difficulty.
  • Provide realistic and targeted instruction to help resolve difficulties and increase skills level.
  • Accommodate a child’s weaknesses and build upon their strengths.

When should I suspect that there is a problem?

It’s important to be aware of how your child is performing. If you notice that you child is perhaps not doing as well as other students in their class, or is experiencing some form of difficulty such as pronouncing words, learning numbers, understanding the alphabet, colors, the days of the week, or even shapes. Remember that all children learn differently and at different speeds. Not all children will develop the same way, but most children will develop at a steady pace.

Are there any helpful reading materials available?

Just as your average learner, slower readers will begin to learn most comfortably using materials that are written for their ability level. Your child’s reading level is no doubt of primary concern, but as a parent you can help your child to select helpful and comfortable materials in many ways.

Choose books or stories that include:

  • A significantly reduced number of words that your child may find difficult.
  • A direct and non-convoluted syntax.
  • Short passages that are able to deliver clear messages when read by parent or child.
  • Helpful illustrations that are bright, bold, clear and colorful.

For more information on learning and reading disabilities, the following websites have bountiful amounts of information, techniques, support and advice to help you and your child get the most out of learning:

http://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/learning-disabilities

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/effective-reading-interventions-kids-learning-disabilities

https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/encouraging-reading-writing/video-tips-for-motivating-reluctant-readers
                           

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