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How to Recognize a Learning Disability

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Uploaded on Dec 3, 2009

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The earlier you recognize a learning disability, the sooner you can help your child to cope. Follow these steps to identify how your child might be struggling.

Step 1: Note delayed development
Notice delays in milestones. A long wait for your child's first words or first steps can indicate a problem.

Step 2: Document patterns
Document patterns of inattentiveness, carelessness, and slow responses. Avoiding mental challenges may be symptomatic of a larger problem.

Step 3: Note problems with instructions
Watch for problems following instructions. A learning-disabled child will have trouble remembering spoken or written instructions and retaining skills and facts.

Tip
Some psychotropic drugs may improve attention and focus, and limit hyperactivity; consult your pediatrician.

Step 4: Watch for impaired memory and processing
Notice if your child misreads information or transposes number, letter, or story sequences.

Step 5: Be aware of physical problems
Watch to see if your child has poor balance, has trouble running and jumping, or struggles with handling small objects.

Step 6: Notice temper and behavior
Don't ignore your child's temper. Some learning-disabled children are prone to behavioral problems.

Tip
Encourage your child to interact socially, and reinforce their strengths.

Step 7: Keep abreast with help
Be aware of changing symptoms as your child progresses through school. Talk to your doctor, who can refer you to a specialist.

Did You Know?
Up to 10 ten percent of U.S. children under age 18 have some type of learning disability.

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