Knowing if your child has a learning disability


It’s common for children to find school work difficult, but if your child expresses dread and frustration when given a task, it could be a sign they need extra help. You can tell a lazy child from one who has a learning disability. One of the ways to catch it is the increased difficulty in assignments when they are in middle school or high school. It is during this time most people catch it and sought help. Earlier symptoms include out of character emotions or behavior during school work.

The reason learning disabilities and namely nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) becomes prominent in later years is that more intensive reading, writing,and calculations are at play. Much like ADHD, most people misdiagnose it. One requires visiting a professional who then conducts a psychological assessment to ascertain if NVLD is affecting a child. Also known as a neuropsychological evaluation, most parents tend to negatively take the news because, to them, it’s laziness, hormones or other emotional disturbances that may be causing the learning difficulties.

However, how do you as a parent catch it?

  1. They struggle academically

It’s normal for the average student to struggle in one or two subjects. As an extreme, there are those who struggle in all subjects, but with extra tutoring, they are able to get better. A child who struggles in the latter area and just as much in their social life could be indicative that they suffer from NVLD. It’s especially the case if they don’t fit the stereotypical mold of an athletic, outgoing or popular student academically performing badly. They’d find looking at something as random as cell phone repair Toronto store branch websites than do their assignment.

  1. Concentration difficulties

A child who appears to have gotten bored halfway through an assignment and resulted to squiggles instead of actual handwriting- constantly- could be indicative of a learning disability. Having a hard time concentrating in class or completing simple tasks is another tale-tell sign that it’s time for an evaluation.

  1. Out of character moods

Children who may have NVLD tend to be their best and happiest during weekends or vacations. When the school year starts, they become anxious, depressed, sulky or irritable. While it’s common when children get back to school for a holiday, these feelings tend to dwindle as the year progresses. However, children with learning disability remain moody. They could be visibly trying their best but somehow unable to keep up. With time, you may note a laxity in this area, as though they have given up. They will either express it in action or verbally.

Way forward

If you note these symptoms, setup a meeting with the guidance counselor or a neurologist. It could be, summarized, having difficulties in visual and tactile (touch)perception, dyscalculia (math) and complex motor skills. It could be that your child isn’t clumsy, have bad eyesight or isn’t slow to understand but indeed do suffer from NVLD.

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