Early Intervention: Learning Disabilities

Child Stressing

Children are full of wonder and potential, wired to learn rapidly in their early years. Sometimes, however, kids have trouble learning and need a little extra help to get on track.

There are many factors that may cause learning disabilities, such as genetics, family history, physical or psychological trauma, or environmental factors. Learning disabilities can apply to any number of skills learned in childhood, but the following are three of the most common.

Dysgraphia is a disability in which kids have trouble writing letters or numbers clearly and legibly. This can impact a child’s ability to learn to read, write, or do math.

Dyslexia is a similar condition in which children struggle to recognize words or spell correctly, which can impact a child’s reading ability.

Dyscalculia affects a child’s ability to understand and recognize numbers and mathematical concepts. This makes learning advanced math later in school very difficult for children.

If your child is struggling with reading, writing, or math, it is important to address this sooner than later. These learning disabilities may impact their ability to learn more advanced concepts later on, and lead to higher rates of anxiety and depression. You can raise your concerns with your child’s doctor, who will likely first test to make sure your child does not have vision or hearing problems.

If it is determined your child has a learning disability, there are multiple ways to get help. Tutors and specialists can help your child learn techniques to work with their learning disability. If your child is school-aged, talk to their teachers about getting an IEP, or Individualized Educational Program, which will help set learning goals and strategies for your child. Occupational therapy may also be useful in helping your child learn to work with their learning disability.

Learning disorders: Know the signs, how to help – Mayo Clinic
Types of Learning Disabilities – Learning Disabilities Association of America (ldaamerica.org)