A child with a learning disability finds difficulty in reading, listening, speaking, understanding mathematical concepts, and with general comprehension. It is a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability for sending, receiving, and processing information. It is important to make a note that LD is not a cause of physical or mental illness, economic or cultural background. Neither indicates that the child is weak or lazy. Some children that begin with slow learners but cope with their studies in the future don’t fall under LD. Children’s approach to a specific type of learning is not LD but a child’s interest.
Causes of Learning Disability
There is no specific cause of LD. However, there are certain factors that can lead to learning disabilities.
- Heredity: It is seen that the child with parents who had LD is likely to grow the same as well.
- Illness during pregnancy or after birth: If a child had injuries during or after birth is likely to grow LD. Other causes such as drug or alcohol consumption during pregnancy, physical trauma, poor growth in the uterus, low birth weight, and premature or prolonged labor also result in LD.
- Stress as an infant: If an infant had a stressful incident after birth such as high fever, head injury, or poor nutrition, then the child can grow LD.
- Environment: Excessive exposure to toxins such as lead can be a cause of LD.
- Comorbidity: Children with LD have higher chances of attention problems or disruptive behavior problems. 25% of children with reading disabilities also have ADHD. Similarly, 15 to 30% of children with ADHD have a learning disability.
During regular physiological development, children acquire basic sets of basic cognition and motor skills. If the child has any delay or gap in this development then it can be a sign of LD.
Sings and symptoms
To diagnose this condition a series of well-researched and proven tests and assessments have to be conducted. Generally, 5% of school children have LD. A child with a learning disability might also have ADHD as well. The symptoms of LD may vary from person to person during every stage of childhood. Commons signs of LD are listed as,
- Problems with reading and or writing
- Difficulty with mathematics
- Weak memory
- Difficulty in being attentive
- Trouble to follow directions
- clumsy behavior
- Unable to understand and tell time
A child with LD will also have one or more of the following symptoms.
- The child might make impulsive decisions
- Isolate themselves
- Get easily distracted
- Unable to say a word correctly or express
- Poor performance in school
- Unable to speak properly or complete sentences
- Lack of concentration
- Unable to go with changes in schedules or situations
- Difficulty in understanding words or concepts
LD is diagnosed after multiple tests conducted by a group of specialists. They include child psychologists, special educators, pediatricians, or child psychiatrists. A clinical psychologist will conduct special intelligence tests that determine whether the child’s intellectual functioning is normal or not. Special educator assesses the child’s academic achievements with the help of standard education tests. These tests assess the areas of reading, spelling, written language, and mathematics. The counselor focuses on the behavioral issues that a child might have. When LD is detected, a pediatrician will enquire about the child’s performance in school and provide guidance to parents to get their child’s psycho-educational assessment done. Child psychiatrist checks whether there exist any symptoms of ADHD as there are higher chances of its coexistence. All of these, together contribute to treating children with learning disabilities.
A child with a learning disability is no different than any other child. It is just a neurological problem that can be treated with professionals help. It is important to give attention to this problem as it might be a big problem when the child is grown up. A number of medical and professional treatments are available to cope up with this issue. We should not ignore this matter and treat the issue as soon as possible. Because if it is left untreated then the children may lose the ability to cope up with the disability when they grow old.