Identifying Learning Disabilities in Elementary School Children

This article includes a testimony from a mother whose elementary school child was diagnosed with a learning disability and also includes tips on recognizing symptoms of learning disabilities in younger children.

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'I first noticed that my son was having problems around kindergarten. He seemed to be struggling with his basic coordination skills...trouble with simple tasks like flossing his teeth and brushing his hair,' says Cindy Fuller. 'We worked with him every day for many years and all of our hard work paid off in the long run with some awesome results.'

While coordination problems aren't always a sign of learning disabilities there has been evidence that a high percentage of children with learning disabilities have coordination problems.

If your child exhibits several of these characteristics for an extended period of time, you may want to have him/her tested:

  • Difficulty learning new skills (must rely on memorization)
  • Trouble learning to tell time
  • Difficulty remembering facts
  • Confusing basic words (cat, dog, run)
  • Poor coordination, 'accident prone', unaware of physical surroundings
  • Having a hard time learning connections between letters and sounds (phonetics)
  • Spelling and reading errors such as substituting words (house/home), letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w) and transpositions (felt/left)
  • Problems with planning
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (x,/,=/+/-)

If you're worried your child may have a learning disability, you need to act now. As a proactive parent you need to take control and arrange a meeting with your child's teacher to discuss having your child evaluated. This will enable you, as well as the professionals working with you, to identify your child's strengths and weaknesses, and then tailor the best course of action to improve your child's learning ability.

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