Signs of Learning Disabilities

Feb 04, 2011
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Learning disabilities (LD) are neurological disorders that can make it difficult to acquire certain academic and social skills. There are about 15 million individuals with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can hinder and negatively affect children’s overall experience in school — affect a child’s ability to understand or use language, do math, coordinate movements or pay attention.

“Not all educators understand or are responsive to the needs of people with LD. When teaching methods are not appropriate, people with learning disabilities may become frustrated and experience failure. This may cause them to drop out of educational programs or make them afraid to enter other programs.”

In order to help children navigate through the academic years successfully and learn appropriate social skills, the key is to identify early warning signs of LD.

Preschool-age children

  • Pronunciation problems.
  • Slow vocabulary growth.
  • Trouble finding the right word.
  • Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet or the days of the week.
  • Extreme restlessness, a very short attention span and a poor ability to follow. directions or routines.

Elementary school-age children

  • * Reversals of letters and words when learning to read.
  • Failure to pay attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention.
  • Difficulty following through on instructions and failure to finish schoolwork.
  • Seems very disorganized and/or often loses important things.
  • Has trouble reading charts and maps.
  • Has difficulty mastering number knowledge (e.g. recognition of quantities without counting).
  • Has difficulty with learning and memorizing basic addition and subtraction facts.
  • * Has difficulty learning strategic counting principles (e.g. by 2, 5, 10, 100).
  • * Poorly aligns numbers, resulting in computation errors.

For Parents

“Knowing how LD affects your child’s learning will help you to create a supportive and productive learning environment at home. By coordinating efforts with your child’s teacher, you can foster your child’s academic success at school and home.”

To learn more, please go to National Center for Learning Disabilities website:

Author: Jenny Carlton