28 Aug Learning Difficulties in Children
As a parent you wish that your child should be intelligent, smart, and creative. While there’s nothing wrong to have such wish you must also keep a close eye on your child’s development. Children learn huge set of skills like reading, speaking, writing, listening, and many more during their growing age. But, certain children find it difficult to learn a particular skill as fast as their other peers. Parents must find out the reason behind your child’s difficulty sooner. Because, in such cases, there’s quite a good chance that your child might be facing what we call a ‘learning difficulty.’
If this is the first time you are hearing about learning difficulty then you might panic. But don’t worry as learning difficulties are found in millions of children across the country and more around the globe. First thing you must know is that having a learning difficulty does not mean that your child is any less intelligent. It just means that your child is not being able to process the information that’s been given in the classroom. Therefore, a different learning approach has to be implemented so that he can make progress in the academics.
What is a Learning Difficulty?
Learning difficulty is associated with brain’s ability to process information and how fast it can process it. A child with no learning difficulty has no issues to understand what’s being taught in the classroom and can process the information quickly. Whereas, children facing learning problems have a hard time learning the basic skills like reading, writing, math, etc. This difficulty does not affect the IQ of the student.
It is extremely important that the learning difficulty is diagnosed at early stage of a student i.e. during the school age. There are cases where people haven’t realized and diagnosed their difficulties in time and are facing numerous hardships like students in college and universities, people working in jobs, etc. These people always find themselves fall behind as compared to their peers.
There are several types of learning difficulties and one must not confuse learning difficulty with learning disability. There’s a fine line between these two phenomenon and it needs to be understood. The word disability refers to a person who is not able to perform a certain task/s and it might be permanent. Whereas, difficulty suggests that a person is facing trouble learning something in a certain way and, if we take a different approach, he can understand and learn easily.
Types of Learning Difficulties
There are multiple types of conditions that fall under the ‘learning difficulties’ umbrella. From dyslexia to dysgraphia people from all ages can face any learning difficulty and sometimes even multiple. But, these difficulties affect children most as they are into early ages of their life and have just started learning basic skills like reading and writing. Here we will discuss types of learning difficulties and the details about them.
Dyslexia is also known as a language based learning difficulty. It is the most common type of learning difficulty and is faced by around 15% of the population. Children mostly face phonological dyslexia which makes it difficult for them to listen and break down words. Dyslexia has several other types too and no two people facing this difficulty will show similar symptoms. Words are built of phonemes and children, in their early age, have to learn to decode a word. But, due to Dyslexia, children are not able to split the word which further affects their reading and writing skills.
Having dyslexia does not mean that the child is any less intelligent. But, if kept ignoring, this issue can grow bigger and eventually children might start thinking that they aren’t intelligent which will decrease their confidence. Children who are diagnosed with dyslexia have a difficult time reading and writing and will eventually fall behind their peers. If not realized and treated in time this type of learning difficulty will keep on growing with the age of the child.
- The child finds it extremely difficult to read out loud
- He might learn a word today and will forget the next day
- Mispronouncing words
- Poor phonics
- Poor handwriting with mixed up words
- Face difficulty in thinking
Dysgraphia is also known as coordination disorder. Here, the fine motor skills are affected and a child will find it difficult to hold a pen or pencil and write. Dysgraphia sometimes also shows up with ADHD. This is a difficulty affects the writing and children end up producing meaningless text.
The writing aspects like spelling, spacing, following the margin, writing in a straight line gets messed up for children facing dysgraphia. The child also finds use of punctuation, capital and small letters, etc. The handwriting also gets affected and a child might find it embarrassing to write in-front of his peers and teachers. Looking at all the writing problems due to dysgraphia a student is recommended to use a computer for writing.
- Difficulty in writing
- Messed up handwriting with no or misplaced punctuations
- Unfinished words with improper spacing
- Tight holding grip
- Difficulty in understanding spatial planning on paper
While dyslexia and dysgraphia dealt with the language based shortcomings, dyscalculia deals with problems associated with processing numbers. Children find math tough and are not able to perform simple arithmetic problems. The math world does not make sense to them and find it extremely tough to approach a math problem. Solving a math problem requires one to solve it step by step. But, children having dyscalculia cannot follow the step in right order.
In some cases dyslexia and dyscalculia show up together which makes things more difficult as the child won’t be able to solve word problems. Some children also find reading numbers a tough task. Children with dyscalculia are advised to use calculators. Other problems dyscalculia causes are – can’t read timings, difficulty in comprehending math symbols, etc.
- Unable to perform simple arithmetic problems like addition and subtraction
- Not able to read and understand word problems
- Jumbling of steps to solve a particular problem
- Face difficulty counting numbers backward
What to do if your child has a learning difficulty?
In the early ages it is common for parents to give it a little time if their child is not performing as compared to his classmates. But if the problem continues then early intervention is must. Realizing that the child is infact facing difficulties is the first step towards his betterment. And because the child is in his early age it is easy to understand his difficulties using psychometric evaluations and work towards making the child better in academics.
Psychometric tests are used to evaluate the mental capabilities of a child. These tests are scientifically proven which help in identifying the root cause of the difficulty. The tests evaluate a person’s characteristics and aptitude and suggest the path to make the child better performer. Psychometric tests are carried out by professionals who further help your child to gain confidence.
The sooner you realize difficulties of your child the sooner he will be on his way to success. There are many cases where people realize quite late in life about their difficulties. And as parents you can also carry some home exercises like making them read more, write more, and know more spelling using the touch-type learning.
If you are a parent concerned about your child’s shortcomings in academics and almost every aspect of life then you must consider taking them to a professional counsellor. We at RMCC provide result yielding counselling and give our best to make your child as better as anyone else.