Learning difficulties in children are most common when the children are below the age of 5 years. It is expected that by this age a child should be able to do things like counting, arranging building blocks, learning songs and rhymes among other things. But children develop differently and because they have difficulty in performing certain tasks it does not necessarily mean they have learning disabilities. To help understand what could be going on, it is important to know the different terms and definitions of learning disabilities.
- Dyslexia- This is a condition of learning disability characterized by reading and writing difficulties. This is characterized by difficulty in making the connections between letters and sounds and with spelling and recognizing words.
- Dyscalculia-This is difficulty with math-related problems such as understanding basic arithmetic concepts.
- Dyspraxia- A person or child suffering from dyspraxia has problems with motor tasks such as hand to eye coordination which can interfere with learning.
- Dysgraphia-This is characterized by writing problems. It may include loss of interest in writing and a strong dislike of it. A child suffering from this may have an awkward pen or pencil holding position.
That said, here are some signs you should look out for in case your child may be having some learning difficulties.
- An immature way of speaking- Children with learning difficulties usually have problems speaking and constructing sentences well. They have a problem with grammar. Some children may also not fully understand what others are saying.
- The trouble with coordination- You find your child is breaking things, has poor balance and is having trouble with tasks that require the hand to eye coordination such as assembling puzzles, coloring within the lines etc.
- Saying words out loud while the writing-A child with learning difficulty usually has problems speaking while writing. He or she is not able to count or read while writing.
- Easily distracted- A child might be having learning complications when they have difficulty staying on the task. They easily get preoccupied with other things and have problems staying focused. You will find they may leave tasks unfinished or omitted when writing.
- Trouble following directions-If they are given simple directions to follow and they experience trouble doing so, this might be a sign. You will find that they forget easily and they have problems paying attention.
- Difficulty remembering-A sign that your child is having a learning problem is when they have trouble in remembering things they were told or learned. They often experience memory loss and cannot recollect things easily.
- Difficulty reading and writing-This is where the child is not able to read or write at all. They are not able to organize written or spoken words. You will find they also have trouble writing thoughts in a logical manner.
- Poor spelling-Children with learning difficulties are not able to spell correctly even simple words. They usually have difficulties in learning new vocabulary either through hearing or reading.