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Children's Health

Simple ways to spot learning disabilities in children

Dr. Tomi

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LEARNING DISABILITIES.
This is an umbrella term that has a number of other more specific disorders in it.
It can be defined as a condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, especially when not associated with physical handicap.

 
They are neurologically based processing problems that affect basic learning skills like reading, writing ,maths or even higher levels of skills such as organizing, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory, attention and at times speaking.
Learning disability can affect an individual beyond academics, it can affect relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.
They are often times identified during the school years as coordinated learning starts then.

 
While every child has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disorder.
Learning disabilities are quite different from learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicap, emotional disturbance, culture or economic disadvantage.

 
Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence.
Learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation, the brain is simply wired differently, this deference affects how they receive/process information. They need to be taught in ways that are tailored to their unique styles.

 
People with learning disabilities are referred to as having “hidden disability” as they look perfectly “normal” and seems to be very bright and intelligent people, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.
By understanding all you can as a parent about LD, you can ensure your child gets the right help to overcome classroom challenges and succeed in life.
With appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, work, relationships and the community.

 
You might recognize some of these names of famous people that had learning disabilities as children;
Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Justin Timberlake, tommy Hilfiger

 
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LEARNING DISABILITIES;
Paying attention to normal developmental milestones for toddlers or preschool is very important. Early detection of developmental difficulties may be early signals of learning disabilities and problems that are spotted early can be easier to correct.

 

 

PRESCHOOL AGE;
-Problem pronouncing words
-Problems finding the right words
-Problems rhyming
-Learning alphabets, number, color, shapes, days of the week
-Following directions, learning routine
-Controlling crayons, pencil, coloring outside the line, buttons, zippers, tieing shoes.

 

 

AGES 59 YEARS
-Trouble learning connections between letters and sounds.
-Trouble Blending sounds to make words
-Confusing basic words when reading
-Slow to learn new skills
-Consistently misspelling words and makes frequent reading errors
-Trouble learning basic maths concept, telling time and remembering sequences.

 
AGES 10-13 YEARS
-Difficult in reading comprehension / maths skills
-Trouble with open ended test questions and word problems.
-Dislikes reading and writing and avoids reading aloud.
-Poor handwriting
-Poor organizational skills in bedroom, homework.
-Trouble following classroom discussion and expressing thoughts aloud.
-Spelling the same words differently in a single document.

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Dr Tomi Sofela (MBChB) is a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. She is on a mission to pursue fulfillment and enjoys watching movies, reading novels and organizing friends and family get-together.