It is a well-known fact that Albert Einstein couldn’t read until he was nine. Other famous personalities such as Walt Disney, Nelson Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell, Winston Churchill, and many more were once children with learning disabilities.
Despite the ridicule these personalities often suffered in schools, social situations, and at home, they all had the inner strength to preserve. The fact is, they all succeeded in life one way or the other.
A child will learn many things in life, starting from- how to speak, write, read, listen, and do the math. Some skills might be a bit harder to learn than others. If your child tries harder to learn certain skills but still fails, then he/she might be having a learning disability.
Having a learning disability means that people find it harder to attain and learn specific life skills. These problems can interfere with learning basic skills like reading, writing, and problem-solving.
Some are born with a disability, while others may develop it as a result of an accident or illness during childhood.
Learning Disabilities in Children
Our brain processes information in an extremely complex way, and it’s no wonder things can get messed up at times. For example, take the simple act of looking at a picture- for this, our brain not only has to form lines into an image, but also recognize what the image stands for, relate that image to other facts, and then store this new information.
Children with learning difficulties often need extra help than others. Many of them always face a struggle in understanding subject topics taught in schools and even lack the necessary skills. Learning disabilities are something that impacts the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information.
These kinds of problems will make it difficult for a student to learn as fast and quickly as someone who is not affected by learning disabilities. With the right guidance and intervention, children with learning disabilities can succeed in their life. Extra care must be given to them by their parents and teachers.
Causes of Learning Disabilities
Many factors cause learning disabilities, and each one of them affects different centres of the brain. This may occur either before birth, during birth or in the early stages of childhood. It is very important to understand the fact that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics. The most possible causes of learning disabilities are-
- Mother’s illness during the time of pregnancy.
- Chromosome abnormalities like Turner syndrome or Down’s syndrome.
- Inherited condition.
- Premature birth.
- Contact with damaging materials such as radiation.
- Lack of mental simulation in early life.
- A severe illness or injury may also affect a child’s brain development.
How to know if your child has a learning disability?
Learning disabilities are not always obvious. But, certain signs could mean that your child definitely needs help. Always understand that the process of development is not the same for all children. Given below are a list of signs that could suggest that your child is having a learning disability.
- Delay in language development.
- Difficulty in learning colours, shapes, and numbers.
- Difficulty in rhyming words.
- Difficulty in coordination which includes buttoning clothes, using scissors, tying shoes, etc.
- Trouble in paying attention.
- Trouble in learning facts.
- Difficulty in recalling already known things.
- Difficulty in linking symbols and numbers to amount.
- Difficulty in telling time using an analog clock.
- Poor spatial and visual orientation.
- Lack of problem-solving skills.
- Difficulty in forming letter shapes.
- Difficulty in holding a pen or pencil.
- Trouble following grammar rules when writing.
- Difficulty in organizing thoughts on paper.
- Difficulty in making generalizations.
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Is there a Cure for Learning Disability?
Unfortunately, there is no proven cure for learning disabilities, but there are many things that can be done to help overcome this. Always be cautious of people who claim that they have simple solutions for this particular problem.
Many people suggest that there are special diets, vitamins, body movements, eye exercises, and nutritional supplements to overcome learning disability in children, but there is no proper evidence.
If you are worried and concerned about your children’s problems related to learning, never hesitate to talk about this to your child’s teacher or doctor.
Most kids who have learning disabilities can reach their goal and be successful in life by developing different ways of learning. There are special educational services for children with learning disabilities.
Parenting tips for preschoolers
- Always make time for your children and listen to them as much as you can.
- Accept your children for what they are and recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to use their abilities as compensations for their disabilities.
- Praise them with good words, smiles, and pat on their back as often as you can.
- Always be realistic in your expectations.
- Try involving them in establishing rules and regulations and family activities.
- Treat your child as an individual and never compare them with others. Also, help to develop self-esteem.
- Find a role model for them who has learning difficulties to make them understand that success is achievable. However, the role model does not have to be a famous personality. He/She can either be a friend, a neighbour, or someone who is ready to talk with the child about his/her problems. This will surely help a child towards achieving a goal despite having learning difficulties.
- Encourage them to ask questions.
- It is important that your children progress at their own rates, so never judge them based on traditional school grades.
- Let them cooperate socially by playing, helping, and serving others.
- Never hesitate to consult with teachers or other health specialists to understand what might be done to help your child learn.
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Always remember that children with learning disabilities can succeed in life if they get the right support and help. The sooner you know about child’s difficulty, the sooner you can help.
Talk to a healthcare professional if you feel that your child is facing learning disabilities. A specialized doctor can understand the areas of difficulty in your child and helps to develop specialized learning plans and strategies.