Learning Disorders (A Comprehensive Guide)

Some people are always wondering why sometimes their children are not performing well in school even though they have been getting an education in one of the best schools there is.

You might be doing the best you can by giving your children a proper education and providing them with the best tuition fees but they might not be able to achieve the results which were expected of them.

Parents need to know that some of these students are not as academically and even psychologically well like other children and every child has his own caliber and potential.

Having said that, there are a few serious issues regarding academic success and these are called learning disorders.

Learning disorders are the disorders that have restrained the ability to process and retain information. Learning is not a simple process and it affects a number of different processes.

That is the main reason a child can suffer from learning disorders or disabilities which cannot be understood by the parents.

This article will throw light at different types of learning disorders and their symptoms so you can treat your child well during their academics.

Let’s first discuss what learning disorders are and then we shall discuss different types of learning disorders. 

What are learning disorders?

Learning disorders are an umbrella term used for a wide range of learning problems.

A child suffering from a learning disorder does not have problems with motivation or even intelligence.

You can’t label these children suffering from learning disorders as lazy or even dumb. They are smart as anyone else but their brains work differently than others.

Their reception and processing of information is quite different from a normal child.

In simpler terms, adults and children who are suffering from learning disorders look, hear, and understand things in a different way than other normal kids.

This can be especially problematic for learning new information as well as skills.

Most common learning problems found in children are related to 

  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Listening
  • Reasoning

Every child can face some problems with his homework but if a child has a problem in a specific area then he is in need of help because he might be suffering from learning disorders. 

  • Signs and Symptoms of Learning Disorders

Learning disorders do not always show the same signs and it can be different for different children.

For instance, a child may face problems in reading and spellings while another child may face problems in math homework and loves to read a book.

Other children with learning disorders may face problems in communication and socialization.

Their signs and symptoms may be different but they all are learning disorders and require similar attention.

Variations in signs and symptoms may cause difficulties in identifying learning disorders. Some warning signs are common for every age while other signs are age-specific.

We shall discuss common warning signs for every specific age. It will help you to identify the problems in children around you.

You need to understand that these signs may be present with lower intensity and frequency but you should take into consideration when a sign is consistent. 

Learning Disorders Signs and Symptoms for Preschoolers

Children who are not school going can face the following signs and symptoms if they are suffering from learning disorders. 

  • They can have trouble finding the right word.
  • They may have difficulty following directions or unable to learn the routine.
  • Difficulty in rhyming words
  • Pronunciation can be trickier for them
  • It may be difficult for them to hold a pencil, scissors, or even crayons.
  • Difficulty staying inside the lines while coloring. 
  • Problem handling zippers or tying shoes. 
  • The problem in learning colors’ names, days of the week, numbers, and even shapes. 
  • Learning Disorders Signs and Symptoms of Ages 5 to 9

Children who have started going to school can manifest signs of learning disorders as the following problems.

  • They have problems grasping basic concepts of math.
  • They are slow learners of new skills. 
  • They have problems learning about the connection between sounds and letters. 
  • They often confuse words when reading. 
  • They can’t tell time accurately often and face problem remembering sequences.
  • Often make errors while spelling words.
  • It is difficult for them to blend sounds in order to make words. 
  • Learning Disorders Signs and Symptoms of Ages 10-13

In the ages 10 to 13, a child is learning new things and socializing more than ever and he manifests signs and symptoms of learning disorders as following problems.

  • Poor handwriting
  • They have problems with open-ended exams questions and word problems. 
  • They avoid reading out loud and often dislike reading and writing.
  • They often have problems in following class discussions expressions of thoughts out loud is also difficult for them.
  • They have poor organizational skills in their bedroom and school desk as well.
  • They might be spelling the same word differently in a single document.
  • Poor math and reading skills. 
  • Types of Learning Disorders

As we discussed earlier, learning disorders can be of many types and a person can face difficulties in reading, writing, math, or even communication skills.

It is of utmost importance for a parent to understand the type of learning disorder and how it can be recognized as it will help you to understand your child better and help them get over the disability which comes with the onset of learning disorders.

Here are different types of learning disorders that can be found in children of different age groups. 

  1. Dyslexia: Learning Disability in Reading

It is one of the most known learning disorders in the world and it is the disorder that restricts a student’s ability to read and comprehend the given text.

This disorder is not as easy to understand because it can be manifested in a number of ways.

Some of the patients may face problems with phonemic awareness as they are unable to recognize the word’s bread down according to the sounds.

Another problem can be with phonological processing when a student cannot differentiate between words with similar sounds. Other problems can be of fluency, comprehension, and spelling.

A student can face a problem with understanding relationships of words and letters or they might have difficulty in understanding the meaning of phrases and paragraphs.

Dyslexia can be manifested in a student with only one problem or a number of problems.

A child can have the following problems if he is suffering from dyslexia 

  • Problem with fluency
  • Problem with the letter and word recognition
  • Poor vocabulary skills
  • Understanding of ideas and words
  1. Dysgraphia: Learning Disability in Writing

Does your child love to read but hate to write? It might be because he is suffering from a disability known as dysgraphia.

It is the disability that has garnered the most attention from the psychologists as well as the parents.

The disability is mainly related to the physical act of writing as it is difficult to hold a pencil for people suffering from dysgraphia.

They also have a tense posture while attempting to write something. It not only makes them tired but also causes discouragement which is also an inhibition in the process.

This disability not only has the physical difficulty of writing but the child also has a problem with synthesizing information, difficulty in written expression, and comprehension.

Basic disability is only limited to physical activity of writing but expressive writing disability is a representation of the problem in organizing thoughts on paper.

Some symptoms of a writing learning disability include the following. 

  • Problems in the organization of thoughts coherently.
  • Spelling inconsistency.
  • Sometimes they struggle with basic sentence structure and grammatical awareness.
  • Problems in accurately copying letters and words. 
  • Problems with neatness and consistency of writing.
  • Writing may be redundant or with some obvious errors and omissions affecting the quality and readability of the written words. 
  1. Dyscalculia: Learning Disability in Math

This can be a headache for most of the parents as their child might not be performing as good math as they want him to perform.

Math is also one of the major areas of concern in learning disabilities. Learning disabilities in math differ on a broad range and it mainly depends on a child’s other positive and negative points.

A child’s ability to do math will be affected differently by a language learning disability, or a visual disorder or a difficulty with sequencing, memory or organization.

A child with dyscalculia can have problems with memorizing and organizing operating signs, numbers, and number facts.

A child suffering from dyscalculia is unable to extend limited strategies for problems solving.

These children can also have problems with counting principles like counting by twos or fives and they also have difficulty telling time.

They also have difficulty in measurement and estimation if they are suffering from dyscalculia. 

  • Other Learning Disorders

There are other disorders that can affect the learning of a child as much as the above mentioned a few learning disorders.

These disorders include the following. 

  1. Processing Deficits 
  2. Dyspraxia 
  3. Aphasia or Dysphasia
  4. Auditory and Visual Processing Problems
  5. ADHD
  6. Autism
  • What can parents do?

Parents play a pivotal role in a special child’s life.

First of all, parents need to pay close attention to the developmental milestones of a child and identify if a child is suffering from a specific problem.

Early detection of problems makes it easier to manage and prevent the child from further complications. 

FAQ about Learning disorders 

What is the hope for a child who is suffering from learning disorders?

Our brain wired with lots of neurons and we can train those neurons for certain habits.

There is hope for special children as the brain can change because under the right learning conditions the brain can form new neural connections. 

How can a person confirm learning disorders in a child?

There are a number of tests available for every learning disorder and confirm if a child is suffering from one.

Who can help if a child is diagnosed with learning disorders?

Parents have the most important role to play but professional help from a psychologist is recommended.