When it comes to understanding how a learning disability affects children, many parents want to ensure their child has all the resources they need to succeed.
Teachers, along with parents, are typically the first people to recognize that a child may have symptoms of a learning disability.
However, teachers are often stressed with the task of managing a classroom of young children, which means sometimes symptoms and solutions to problems fall through the cracks.
And, when it comes to discovering potential learning disabilities, parents need to become detectives to uncover if their child needs extra support and to confidently advocate for them in school.
So here are 3 tips to help parents identify a potential learning disability in their child.
Tip #1: Consider Reading, Writing and Math
Learning Disabilities generally occur around an academic area such as reading, writing or math.
The first step is to ask yourself, “Is there a subject my child is failing?” Or, “Is there a class that my student is always complaining about?”
Since reading is fundamental to later learning, start with a careful exploration of how well your student is reading. Ask them to read something out loud and consider how well they pronounce, or how quickly they are reading words.
If you can identify some slowness in their reading style, or that they are not understanding what
they read, then a further exploration is probably warranted.
As a child ages, the impact on learning is great if he/she has not mastered basic
reading, writing, or math skills. Discuss with your child’s teacher to determine if their school struggles are “unexpected” or “surprising” for their age.
Tip #2: Schedule A Meeting With Your Child’s Teacher
Your goal is to understand the teacher’s perspective on how your child performs in school. Ask your child’s teacher about opportunities he or she has had to see your child read, do math problems, and/or write at an age-appropriate level.
Be sure to ask if there are behavior issues and if they fall within a certain time of day or during a specific class. Sometimes “acting up” can mean that a student is frustrated with the difficulty of the work, rather than just “being bad” that day.
Tip #3: Observe Your Child At Home
Observe your child’s workbooks, and homework to see whether they are
communicating well, and appear to understand the purpose of the work given to them.
It’s best to keep track of how your child does any school work at home as well. Here are a few ideas for parents:
- Have your child read to you. Are they constantly getting stuck?
- Ask them 2 questions about each story they read to see if they are comprehending the content.
- Review your child’s homework. Are they passing the assignments?
- How are they doing on spelling tests?
- Grab one of your child’s math homework assignments and ask them, “Tell me what’s going on in this math problem. How did you solve such a tricky problem?”
Doing this once or twice a week should give parents enough insight to their child’s learning growth.
As I said, when it comes to discovering if your child has a learning disability, parents have to be detectives. A lot of it comes down to parents being curious, observing, and asking questions.
At Pivot Child Psychological Services we specialize in helping families be proactive in getting an individualized evaluation of their child’s strengths and weaknesses. We provide objective clarity around their child’s potential learning disabilities.
Our evaluations could be “the proof” you need for obtaining the services that could most help your student before they fall further behind.
If this kind of support is something you’d like to explore for your child, schedule an appointment today.