Children's Learning Disabilities: What Are They and How Do You Help your Child

Children with learning disabilities need some help to learn and retain concepts in reading, math, science, and other subjectx they take in school. You can help your child by getting informed and learning about learning disabilities and how they are treated.

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What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a neurological disorder. It means a person's brain and cognitive processes are wired slightly differently than most people's. Children with learning disabilities are every bit as smart as their peers. But their brains work with information in a way that is not necessarily compatible with traditional methods of teaching and education. A learning disabled child may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, and recalling or organizing information. To date, learning disabilities cannot be cured or fixed. But many techniques have been developed for teaching and working with learning disabilities that enable children who suffer them to live up to their full potential.

Helping the Learning Disabled Child

If your child has a learning disability, step up and get involved. Encourage your child's strengths, but be realistic, positive and supportive about his weaknesses. Understand the educational system your child is enrolled in. Find out about the professional resources available in your area for children with learning disabilities. Learn about strategies for coping and overcoming the challenges that will be faced. Recognize that learning disabilities are quite common - nearly 1 in 7 people are diagnosed with one. The most common learning disabilities are those relating to reading. If you have a learning disability, there's a strong chance your child will have one also. Knowing this can help you to prepare. Above all, understand that a learning disability is not an emotional or psychological problem. Its a neurological condition.

And if your child does have a learning disability, she's in good company. Albert Einstein couldn't read until he was nine and Walt Disney, General George Patton, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller struggled with reading all through their lives.

Common Learning Disabilities

Dyslexia

A language disability which affects understanding of written words. It might also be called a reading disability or reading disorder

Dyscalculia

A math disability by which a person has trouble solving problems and grasping concepts

Dysgraphia

A writing disability which cause struggles with the formation of letters, or writing within a defined space

Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders

These are sensory disabilities which cause struggles with understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

These are neurological disorders which cause problems with grasping spatial relations, organization, evaluation or intuition.

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