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Could Your Child Have A Learning Disability?

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Young boy sitting at desk with his head laying on his book

Children acquire many skills and knowledge as they develop. They learn how to read, talk, listen, write, and solve math problems among many other advancements. Some would consider it basic evolution. However, learning these skills is NOT the same for all children.

Some children may find it more challenging to learn than others. More than ever before, children are facing episodes of anxiety, depression, and social awkwardness. Often overlooked, children too, can be affected by the overall vastness of digital information, not to mention frequent cyber-bullying and the typical overwhelming news/ media outlets. Sadly, in this new digital era, this has become the unfortunate norm. Thus, it is more understandable why parental attention can easily drift with inaccurate diagnosis or unrecognized indicators.

Why Do Some Children Have Learning Difficulties?

There are many factors why children may have challenges with different learning techniques. Although these factors are not always the sole basis of identifying learning difficulties, there is a chance that the parent or a family member of the child currently “has or has had” the same learning challenges. Other possible risk factors include premature birth, low birth weight, sickness, or injury during childhood such as poisoning, meningitis, or head accidents.

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Mom and dad helping young child with homework

Whatever the cause, the first thing parents should do is identify the difficulties in an open communication dialogue. Let the child know they’re not in trouble and have done nothing wrong. Explain to them your desire in helping them be the best that they can be in an open and non-judgemental space is the primary aim so that an understanding can be gathered. Working with professionals can also help ease the burdens of overcoming or managing learning difficulties. Concerns can be discussed with the child’s physician or teachers to assure their education is designed in a way understandable to their individual comprehensive learning needs.

Possible Signs of Learning Difficulties in Children

Although children can face challenges in school, there are some signs that parents need to watch out for. It is important to remember that children learn at different speeds, but if you have a strong feeling that there’s a clear difficulty, you have to consider this possibility. Consult with the child’s teacher or healthcare provider for guidance and support if you happen to recognize some of the identifiable signs listed below.

Preschool Children:

Child doing homework
  • Delay in acquiring language skills- At 2.5 years old, a child should be able to speak in phrases or short sentences.

  • Problems in speech- A child should be able to express themselves enough for adults to understand what they want to say at the age of 3.

  • Has difficulty learning numbers, shapes, letters, and colors

  • Trouble in word rhyming

  • Has a short attention span- a child should be able to stay at rest and listen for a short time between the ages of 3-5. Paying attention should improve overtime as the child gets older.

  • Difficulty in coordination- at the age of 5, the child should already know how to hop, button their clothes, and use scissors. Moreover, they should know how to copy shapes such as triangles, circles, and/or squares.

  • Feelings of anger or frustration when learning

Elementary Children and Teenagers:

Young girl lays on the ground and looks confused about her homework
  • Struggles with staying organized at home or school

  • Has difficulty following directions

  • Challenges in reading, pronouncing, and spelling words

  • Finds it hard to learn or remember information

  • Difficulty in comprehending verbal instructions

  • Has very poor handwriting

  • Finds it very challenging to solve word or math problems

  • Cannot express themselves well in writing or speaking


If a child is exposed to ample experiences and teachings but cannot keep up with other kids within their age group, parents should find the root cause and try to help the child resolve it early on. Having a learning disability is not the end of the world. With adequate resources, parents can work on a child’s strong points to give them confidence and help make learning fun.

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