Understanding Learning Difficulties: Helping your child

Many children have trouble reading, writing, or performing other learning-related tasks at some point. This does not mean they have learning disabilities. A child with a learning disability often has several related signs, and they don’t go away or get better over time. The signs of learning disabilities vary from person to person.

As a parent you could look for the following signs in your child. These may indicate that your child could have learning disabilities:

  • Problems reading and/or writing
  • Problems with maths
  • Poor memory
  • Problems paying attention
  • Trouble following directions
  • Clumsiness
  • Trouble telling time
  • Problems staying organised

A child with a learning disability also may have one or more of the following:

  • Acting without really thinking about possible outcomes (impulsiveness)
  • “Acting out” in school or social situations
  • Difficulty staying focused; being easily distracted
  • Difficulty saying a word correctly out loud or expressing thoughts
  • Problems with school performance from week to week or day to day
  • Speaking like a younger child; using short, simple phrases; or leaving out words in sentences
  • Having a hard time listening
  • Problems dealing with changes in schedule or situations
  • Problems understanding words or concepts

These signs alone are not enough to determine that a person has a learning disability. Only a professional can diagnose a learning difficulty.

However if you notice these things in your child it is important that you come and talk to your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns.

The following links will provide further information about various learning difficulties:

Organisations:

Useful Websites: