How do you tell if your child has a learning disability?

The following checklist contains the common warning signs of learning disabilities but it is important to note that all children show one of more of these behaviours at some point in their childhood. It is only if your child consistently shows a number of these behaviours that you should consider the possibility of a learning disability and seek professional help.

Does your child have difficulties with:

* Learning new vocabulary
* Following directions
* Understanding requests
* Pronouncing words
* Discriminating amongst sounds
* Spelling
* Writing stories and essays
* Reading comprehension
* Responding to question

* Acting before thinking
* Poor organization
* Daydreaming
* Restlessness
* Completing a task
* Waiting
* Distractibility

* Knowing the time, date, year, etc.
* Completing assignments
* Organizing thoughts
* Sequencing
* Completing work in a given time
* Managing time
* Setting priorities
* Carrying out a plan
* Finding their belongings
* Making decisions

* Social judgement
* Working cooperatively
* Making and keeping friends
* Impulsive behaviour
* Easily frustrated
* Accepting changes to routine
* Interpreting nonverbal cues
* Sportsmanship

* Spelling
* Studying for tests but poor results
* Remembering names
* Remembering events
* Learning the alphabet
* Learning new procedures
* Remembering directions
* Remembering phone numbers
* Identifying letters
* Learning new maths concepts
* Learning self-help skills

* Climbing and running
* Drawing
* Cutting
* Mastering sports
* Manipulating small objects
* Handwriting

If you think your child fits many of theses criteria – what do you do now?

If you think your child may have a learning disability it is advisable to have your child assessed. This involves contacting a psychologist who will administer a number of assessments and will then be able to determine if your child has a learning disability, as well as what their specific strengths and weaknesses are. Once this has been done, the psychologist will make suggestions and recommendations for how best to help your child. Then, in conjunction with you, as the parents, the school and the psychologist involved, accommodations for your child can be made at school, remedial assistance may be provided or you may need to consider placing your child in a remedial school. The specific action taken will depend on the severity and the specific nature of the learning disability.


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