The earlier you recognize a learning disability, the sooner you can help your child to cope. Follow these steps to identify how your child might be struggling.
Step 1: Note delayed development Notice delays in milestones. A long wait for your child's first words or first steps can indicate a problem.
Step 2: Document patterns Document patterns of inattentiveness, carelessness, and slow responses. Avoiding mental challenges may be symptomatic of a larger problem.
Step 3: Note problems with instructions Watch for problems following instructions. A learning-disabled child will have trouble remembering spoken or written instructions and retaining skills and facts.
TIP: Some psychotropic drugs may improve attention and focus, and limit hyperactivity; consult your pediatrician.
Step 4: Watch for impaired memory and processing Notice if your child misreads information or transposes number, letter, or story sequences.
Step 5: Be aware of physical problems Watch to see if your child has poor balance, has trouble running and jumping, or struggles with handling small objects.
Step 6: Notice temper and behavior Don't ignore your child's temper. Some learning-disabled children are prone to behavioral problems.
TIP: Encourage your child to interact socially, and reinforce their strengths.
Step 7: Keep abreast with help Be aware of changing symptoms as your child progresses through school. Talk to your doctor, who can refer you to a specialist.
FACT: Up to 10 ten percent of U.S. children under age 18 have some type of learning disability.