Updated: Feb 22, 2022
Does your child struggle with school? Do they dread reading out loud, writing an essay, or tackling math? While every kid has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disability.
What’s a Learning Disability? A learning disability refers to a child’s ability to learn, organize, remember, understand or use verbal or nonverbal information. Learning disabilities are also referred to as learning disorders, or dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing) and dyscalculia (math). The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing and math.
Children with learning disabilities are smart, they just learn differently. Children with learning disabilities are generally of average or above average intelligence; however, there is often a gap between the child’s potential and their actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”: the child looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.
What causes learning disabilities? Researchers don’t know exactly what causes learning disabilities. But they do know that genes and brain differences play a role. Learning disabilities run in families. People are 4 to 10 times as likely to have a learning disability if they have a parent or sibling with a learning disability. Researchers have found multiple genes that may play a role.
How do I know if my child has a learning disability? The only way to know for sure if someone has a learning disability is through a psychoeducational assessment. A psychoeducational assessment will look for specific strengths and challenges in reading, writing, and math skills.
If you’re worried, don’t wait! If you suspect that your child’s learning difficulties may require special assistance, do not delay in finding support. The sooner you move forward, the better your child’s chances for reaching their full potential.
People don’t outgrow learning disabilities but there are strategies and supports that can help. With appropriate support and intervention, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.
Without proper identification and support in school, children with learning disabilities are more likely to develop anxiety, low self-esteem, and behaviour problems (e.g., school refusal).
Why choose Chickadee Psychology to assess your child for a learning disability? I conduct comprehensive psychoeducational assessments that identify the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support reading, writing and math skills so you know exactly where your child is at – and where to start.