An Overview

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, defines a learning disability as a condition when a child's achievement is substantially below what one might expect for that child. A learning disability does not include problems like hearing, visual or emotional disability and not even an intellectual disability. Children with learning disabilities mostly have a problem with reading that usually starts with basic sounds and phonemes. These children usually have a problem in telling words apart from their individual words and also combining them. They could further have a problem in rhyming as well. This leads to a problem in decoding words which can further create problems in fluency and comprehension.

Types

  • DYSLEXIA: It includes difficulty in fluent word recognition, the child has bad spelling and problems in decoding. It affects around 2-8 percent of elementary school children. Most of the children suffering from dyslexia have a problem in separating the sounds in the spoken words, while some children have a problem with the rhyming words.
  • DYSGRAPHIA: A problem occurring in the vocabulary, grammar, hand movement and memory related areas in the brain.
  • DYSCALCULIA: Problems in memorizing facts, aligning numbers and recognizing them. These usually show up at an early stage. The later the problems appear is most likely to be tied to problems in reasoning.

Signs and symptoms

  • Difficulties in writing as well as reading.
  • Difficulties in basic mathematics.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Difficulty in maintaining attention.
  • Difficulty in staying organized.
  • Difficulty in telling the time
  • Can’t follow directions properly.

Children with learning disabilities may also show-

  • Impulsiveness- not thinking before acting
  • Acting out- unacceptable behavior in social situations like violence, yelling.
  • Being unfocussed
  • Problems with school performance
  • Talking in a manner used by younger kids like simple phrases
  • Don’t listen carefully
  • Difficulty in adjusting to situations
  • Find it hard to understand certain concepts and words

Causes

  • POST BIRTH INCIDENTS: Deprivation in nutrition, injuries such as in the head, constant exposure to toxins.
  • PRENATAL COMPLEXES: Any drug or substance abuse by the mother, lack of oygen, inadequate birth weight
  • HEREDITY: Some family history of the same problem or issue

Assessments

Multiple data sources are used. These include standardized tests, student self report measures, parent reports, informal measures and observations, data is also taken from response to intervention approaches. The main aim is to focus on the needs as well as the strengths of the individual. It integrates, interprets and summarizes the data.

Treatment

Children having difficulties in reading

  • Giving multisensory experiences and feedback to children in need of special teaching techniques.
  • Extra modifications like giving extra time to children with this disability in classroom settings.
  • Technology can help by providing listening to books for those who have difficulties in reading.

Children with problems in writing

  • Oral exams can be used to help in this case
  • Audio recording can be done instead of making the child write
  • The teacher can help the student by preparing notes

Children with problems in mathematics

  • Colored pencils can be used to help differentiate between the parts of the problem
  • Computer can be used for practicing
  • Music as well as rhymes can be used to make the child learn the concepts

Our Therapists