What are Signs of Learning Difficulties in Children?

Sarah Kay Moll
Sarah Kay Moll
Young children often benefit from speech therapy if they have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and words.
Young children often benefit from speech therapy if they have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and words.

Learning difficulties in children are often the result of a learning disorder, a neurological disorder that interferes with a child’s ability to listen, speak, read, write, or do math. Parents are usually the first to notice signs of a learning disorder or learning difficulty, but teachers may also notice some signs. Symptoms can vary greatly among individuals, but common signs are difficulties in learning concepts or skills that cause deficits when a child is compared to his or her peers.

Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.
Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.

Learning difficulties in children are often neurological in nature, rather than a result of the child not trying hard enough. Most children with learning disorders are of normal intelligence, but they have deficits in certain skills. There is no cure for a learning disorder, however, intervention and extra help in the area a child struggles with can be enough to enable a child to catch up to his or her peers. Depending on the type of learning difficulty, there are different strategies parents and teachers can employ to help a child learn.

Even if a child has difficulty in one area, such as reading, they may perform normally in other areas, like math.
Even if a child has difficulty in one area, such as reading, they may perform normally in other areas, like math.

Many of the symptoms of learning difficulties in children are seen in normal children as well. They become a cause for concern when a child shows several of the symptoms and they persist for a long time. Parents should be on the lookout for signs of learning difficulties, because the sooner a child receives help, the better the results. Often, learning difficulties in children will cause difficulty in one specific area, such as writing, but the affected child will perform just as well as his or her peers in other areas such as math.

A young child with learning difficulties may be able to interact with a sibling but is otherwise shy and withdrawn.
A young child with learning difficulties may be able to interact with a sibling but is otherwise shy and withdrawn.

In preschool children, a common symptom of learning difficulty is slowness to learn to speak when compared to peers. These children may also have a limited vocabulary and show difficulty finding the word they want to say. They may also have a hard time learning preschool concepts like the alphabet or the names of colors. Often they are easily distracted and have difficulty following even simple directions.

Fine and gross motor skill impairment makes writing difficult for children with nonverbal learning disorder.
Fine and gross motor skill impairment makes writing difficult for children with nonverbal learning disorder.

Learning difficulties in children during grade school can also manifest as language trouble, with a child often learning to read much later than peers. Learning new skills, especially mathematical skills, may be very difficult. A child may also have problems with spelling and often mix up letters such as “b” and “d.” A child with learning difficulties may struggle with word problems or writing assignments, and may avoid these assignments.

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Discussion Comments

TomJay

Thanks "moll'. This is much better than the statement i have objected to. Still open to discussion, though.

If a learning disability stays with the person (I agree that it may) but he copes well, than he does not have the effect of it and actually may (often does) perform better than the person without LD.

The reason: Many LD "sufferers" have above average IQ. We have successfully helped many over the years at Jays' Education.

moll

A cure is something that entirely removes the problem, in this case a learning disability. People with learning disabilities can overcome their learning difficulty through many different means, depending on the person and the difficulty.

This is not a cure, however, the person still has a learning disability and has found ways to work with it. A person with a learning disability will never wake up and find that they now learn exactly the same way as other people, however they can be just as capable as others with the right intervention.

This lack of a cure may be due to the lack of understanding about the cause of learning difficulties and the fact that they are often neurologically based.

TomJay

I strongly disagree with the statement "there is no cure for learning difficulties"!

The statement is misleading and not very accurate.

Reasons: What is a cure? Answers to that may vary greatly.

Yes, learning difficulties may be overcome completely, not always, but most of the time, providing the correct strategies are used.

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    • Young children often benefit from speech therapy if they have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and words.
      By: altanaka
      Young children often benefit from speech therapy if they have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and words.
    • Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.
      By: Kalim
      Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.
    • Even if a child has difficulty in one area, such as reading, they may perform normally in other areas, like math.
      By: SergiyN
      Even if a child has difficulty in one area, such as reading, they may perform normally in other areas, like math.
    • A young child with learning difficulties may be able to interact with a sibling but is otherwise shy and withdrawn.
      By: MNStudio
      A young child with learning difficulties may be able to interact with a sibling but is otherwise shy and withdrawn.
    • Fine and gross motor skill impairment makes writing difficult for children with nonverbal learning disorder.
      By: Leah-Anne Thompson
      Fine and gross motor skill impairment makes writing difficult for children with nonverbal learning disorder.