Communicating, Mobility and Learning: Spotting the Red Flags of Childhood Disorders

It’s frustrating for you, but imagine what your child or student is going through. A reading and learning disorder can make the student feel dumb and worthless. But, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. So, here’s how to spot the warning signs.

What Is A Disorder?

Reading disorders are the most common type of learning disability. And, they’re the best studied, accounting for 80% of all children diagnosed with a learning disorder. Children that have a reading disorder are able to see the letters on the page or screen, and they can sound out words, but they have trouble recognizing that letters and combinations of letters mean something, and how they represent different sounds.

Most of the time, the cause is in the child’s phonologic awareness. This is a difficulty perceiving how sounds make up words. The reading disorders, including letter reversals, don’t have as much to do with their vision. Rather, the problem is that they cannot put letters together into words and phrases.

For example, they would have trouble coming up with the word for “cat” or “backpack,” “computer,” or “phone.”

They may also have trouble remembering verbal sequences like “the cat ran across the street to see the boy who lived next to the purple house.” And, while some children outgrow this problem, it tends to persist in at least 40% of the population of people initially diagnosed.

And, like all learning disabilities, they cannot be detected through neurologic tests, like special examinations or electroencephalograms (EEGs and brain wave tests).

Physical Disabilities

Sometimes, the learning disability can be brought on by a physical disability. For example, if your child has cerebral palsy, it can be next to impossible to learn some things. You should contact cerebral palsy attorneys if you suspect your child may have a physical disability or is being treated unfairly in school because of his or her learning disability.

Also, call your doctor and ask for tests to be run to confirm a diagnosis.

Signs And Symptoms

Some signs to look out for during preschool years include:

  • Trouble finding the right word or words
  • Problems trying to pronounce words and phrases
  • Difficulty with rhyming
  • Problems hearing the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, and days of the week
  • Trouble following directions and learning routines that should be easy
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and coloring within the lines
  • Difficulty controlling scissors
  • Trouble with buttons and snaps, zippers, or learning to tie shoes

Other problems include:

  • Problems learning the connection between sounds and letters
  • An inability to blend sounds to make words
  • Confusion of basic words when reading
  • Frequent and consistent mistakes when reading
  • Consistent and frequent mistakes when spelling or making frequent reading mistakes
  • Slow to learn new skills or routines
  • Trouble remembering time and sequences
  • Problems with reading and comprehension, math skills that shouldn’t be difficult at this age
  • A dislike of reading
  • Spelling the same word differently within the same document
  • Problems following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts
  • Bad handwriting

Benjamin Howe is a medical student who is most interested in pediatric medicine, alongside obstetrics, he still has a couple of years to decide where to specialize. Until that time he writes articles on the subjects that interest him, and that he is learning more about.