HOW TO DEAL WITH LEARNING DISABILITY IN CHILDREN AGED 5
How can I tell if my child has a learning disability?
During the preschool and kindergarten years, children learn at different rates and with different styles. But if your child has significant trouble with numbers, letters, or speech, he may have a learning disability. Learning disabilities are a category of disorders that stem from how the brain processes information, making it difficult to grasp some concepts.
A child with a learning disability may understand a story perfectly when it is read to him but will struggle to answer questions about it afterward. Another child might easily recite the alphabet from A to Z but be unable to name individual letters when they’re pointed out. Still another child may have a hard time putting together puzzles, tying his shoes, or buttoning a sweater.
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Children with learning disabilities usually have normal or above normal intelligence, but they have trouble expressing their knowledge. Because it is so difficult for children with learning disabilities to master certain tasks, they often experience frustration, anger, low self-esteem, and even depression. Your child may know just what he wants to accomplish – to say or write or do – but getting there isn’t a straight path.
“Information going in the eyes and ears is somehow not translated correctly. What comes out is not the correct answer,” says Ron Liebman, a child psychiatrist in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. “We’re talking about children with normal IQs.”
What are the warning signs of a learning disability in children age 5 and under?
Learning disabilities are often grouped into three categories: speech or language disorders; problems with reading, writing, or math skills; and a range of other disorders such as problems with coordination, motor skills, or memory.
Sometimes it’s clear that a child has one kind of disability, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia – disorders that impair reading and math abilities, respectively. But it’s also common for children to have a combination of different disorders.
Attention deficit disorders are not by themselves learning disabilities. But children with learning disabilities frequently have attention problems, as well.
Learning disability symptoms in children age 5 and under include:
- Delayed speech
- Pronunciation problems
- Difficulty learning new words
- Difficulty learning to read
- Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week, or colors and shapes
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty following directions
- Poor grasp of a crayon or pen
- Difficulty with buttoning, zipping, and tying
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