These days there is a lot of focus on the physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional development of children. Children are unique and therefore their developmental milestones may not take a homogenous path. And in case a child is not meeting the expected standard in the above fields within a certain time and age window; then it might be a good idea to look into the matter and determine if they need help.
If a child is struggling or showing a delayed curve in his cognitive development, there are chances that there might be some form of learning disability. Now the question is how do we determine the type of the disability and how do we take diagnostic and corrective measures to address it?
Some of the most common learning disabilities include dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia, dysgraphia and attention deficit disorder (ADD). They hamper the normal processing of the brain that is required in everyday applications like reading and writing, basic mathematics, logical inference, memory or having a sense of time .
Apart from the cognitive functions, the disabilities can also have an impact on the child’s self-esteem and social skills. They are often found to be isolated. It is unfortunate that many times the parents are in a denial mode and shy away from acknowledging that their child might have some issue that need to be addressed.
Given below are some personality markers that will help you to determine if your child may have some form of learning disability. Remember, the earlier the intervention, the better will be your child’s progress in future.
1. Evaluating the Behavioural and Emotional Responses
If you find your child is behaving differently and takes a longer time to respond to any situation or activity when compared to his peers, it is better to get a check done by a specialist pediatrician. And you must keep in mind that this sort of behavior is consistently uniform both in school as well as at home. You need to be a supportive parent because they may feel insecure and conscious of themselves. In such a scenario, they often tend to show withdrawal symptoms.
2. Bonding with Younger Kids
In case your child shows more affinity towards the kids younger than him, and prefers their company, pay attention to the development of their soft skills like transitional behavior, understanding cues during eye-contacts, dealing with appropriate maturity when confronted with something unpleasant, etc. If they have learning disability, they may take time to reach the emotional stage shared by their peers and hence feel more comfortable at the company of younger or much older people who wouldn’t scrutinize or judge them.
3. Coping up with the School/ Academic Work
Children with a learning disability often find themselves not able to cope with the concepts taught in the class or the activities and exercises done in the course-work. They feel demotivated, frustrated and anxious during tests and examinations. They struggle with shapes, order, a pattern of letters and numbers, spelling and other basic mathematical operations. It is a must to get them assessed and provide necessary intervention at the earliest.
4. Collating and Presenting Ideas
Till the pre-primary and primary grades, there isn’t much to memorize, or different ideas to organize. When children with learning disability start middle school, they find it difficult to do exercises involving analysis, deduction or conclusion. E.g. compositions.
5. Memory Issues
Sometimes children perform very well in the preparatory and revision tasks, but they don’t show many results during an examination. If they are suffering from learning disability, it becomes difficult to memorize and retain large portions of information. Such short-term memory failure is again a very common characteristic among the middle school students with learning disabilities.
These were some of the common observations that are found among the children with learning difficulties. By no means, you should think that they are lacking in any sense. Rather they have been found to be exceptionally gifted with a very high IQ on average.
Some of the famous personalities who suffered from learning disability include Orlando Bloom, Michael Phelps, Danielle Radcliff, Jamie Oliver etc. Such children only need intervention and support and you, as parents, should do your best to encourage and support them .