Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 28 : Children Specific Learning Disabilities


The diagnosis of a learning disability requires documentation of at least average intellectual functioning along with a deficit in one or more of the following areas:

  1. auditory processing
  2. visual processing
  3. information processing speed
  4. abstract and general reasoning
  5. memory (long-term, short-term, visual, auditory)
  6. spoken and written language skills
  7. reading skills
  8. mathematical skills
  9. visual spatial skills
  10. motor skills
  11. executive functioning (planning)

Signs of a Learning Disability

There is no one sign that shows a person has a learning disability. Experts look for a noticeable difference between how well a child does in school and how well he or she could do, given his or her intelligence or ability. There are also certain clues that may mean a child has a learning disability. The following list is mostly related to elementary school tasks, because learning disabilities tend to be identified in elementary school. A child probably won’t show all of these signs, or even most of them. However, if a child shows a number of these problems, then parents and the teacher should consider the possibility that the child has a learning disability.

When a child has a learning disability, he or she:

  • may have trouble learning the alphabet, rhyming words, or connecting letters to their sounds
  • may make many mistakes when reading aloud, and repeat and pause often may not understand what he or she reads
  • may have real trouble with spelling
  • may have very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly
  • may struggle to express ideas in writing
  • may learn language late and have a limited vocabulary
  • may have trouble remembering the sounds that letters make or hearing slight differences between words
  • may have trouble understanding jokes, comic strips and sarcasm
  • may have trouble following directions;
  • may mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sounds similar
  • may have trouble organizing what he or she wants to say or not be able to think of the word he or she needs for writing or conversation
  • may not follow the social rules of conversation, such as taking turns, and may stand too close to the listener
  • may confuse math symbols and misread numbers
  • may not be able to retell a story in order (what happened first, second, third)
  • may not know where to begin a task or how to go on from there
Last modified: Saturday, 14 April 2012, 12:22 PM