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According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, a learning disorder is “more than a difficulty with learning. It is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information.” Although most students will experience difficulties in the classroom at some time, On-Track Tutoring, a Phoenix based tutoring service, suggests five signs that may indicate your child has an underlying learning disorder.
The 5 Signs
- Delay in speech or language. Speech is the way sounds and words are formed. Language refers to the understanding of communication as well as the ability to communicate. A child with a speech or language problem may be difficult to understand, may consistently use words incorrectly, or have difficulty following directions.
- Reading difficulties. A younger child may struggle with rhyming or may have trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds. Older students may consistently misspell words, confuse basic words when reading, or not read with the speed expected for their age. A child who has a problem with reading comprehension is unable to grasp the meaning of words, sentences, and paragraphs and/or has difficulty understanding the meaning of the passage.
- Trouble with basic math concepts. When a child has a disorder in this area, they may have difficulty with the abstract concepts of time and direction, lack “number sense” (a fundamental understanding of quantity), struggle to understand place value, and have trouble learning and understanding multi-step calculations.
- Laborious writing. Difficulty with organization and coherence in writing is often a sign of a disorder. A child may have difficulty with sequence, sentence structure, word usage and grammar, or struggle with the act of writing. Often, there is a large gap between the child’s written ideas and their verbal ability.
- Poor grades. A child with a learning disorder will often work as hard if not harder than their peers. They may still have difficulty completing work accurately or on time. Homework can take longer than expected, and they may not be mastering academic skills despite their intelligence.