What does it mean to have a learning disability?
A learning disability (which is also referred to as a learning disorder or a learning difficulty) is a general term which refers to one’s significant difficulty in acquiring and/or using his listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities. Learning disabilities are neurological disorders that affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. The most common area in which a child may develop a learning disability is reading. Individuals with learning disabilities can be of average or above-average intelligence, but have difficulty utilizing academic skills. With learning disabilities, there is a discrepancy between one’s ability to learn and his level of achievement.
How do I know if my child has a learning disability?
You may consider getting your child help if he/she: has trouble performing specific types of activities or completing tasks; is slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorization; avoids tasks pertaining to more difficult subjects; works at a slow pace; has repeated struggle and frustration with learning over an extended period of time; poorly grasps abstract concepts; has a history of family learning disabilities.
Symptoms vary with each child and each specific disability.
How will the condition progress if left untreated?
Without the proper support and intervention, children are at risk for continual struggle with academic achievement. The child’s self-confidence can also be negatively affected if he fails to understand that his learning disability is not a reflection of his intelligence, but rather that he simply learns differently from his peers.
How can I help my child overcome a learning disability?
Children with learning disabilities can certainly be taught to overcome their difficulties. Learning and academic successes are achieved through careful identification, specialized instruction, and appropriate accommodations. Because learning disabilities differ for each child, individualized assessments and instructions are necessary to understand the child’s unique challenges and needs. A basic, common approach is to teach the child learning skills by building on the child’s abilities and strengths while simultaneously correcting and compensating for his disabilities and weaknesses. Speech and language therapists and specialists may also prove valuable in helping your child overcome his difficulties.
Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, a neuropsychologist can evaluate your child to provide the most accurate, appropriate, individualized diagnosis. Therapists will work with your child’s school to create an excellent learning environment with potential necessary accommodations. Multi-sensory programs are also available at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, and they are specifically designed to best treat your child, based on his individual needs and specific learning disabilities.