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Q&A: What Are The Signs of Learning Differences and What Can You Do To Help?

In Education on December 13, 2021 at 6:07 am

Currey Ingram

Many children with learning differences struggle in school long before receiving an official diagnosis, affecting their confidence and motivation. It is crucial to identify learning differences early on so both teachers and parents can provide the support they need. Currey Ingram Academy, a private school in Brentwood, covers some common questions related to identifying the signs of a learning difference in the following Q&A:

Q: What are learning differences?

A: Learning differences stem from the inability or difficulty to process information; this prevents a person from learning a skill and using it. Learning differences can affect a child’s ability to read, write, work, and compute, affecting non-verbal skills.

Q: What are reading-related learning differences?

A: Reading-related learning differences (like “dyslexia”) make it challenging for children to understand how letters represent a sound and how letter combinations make a word. They may also have problems with working memory or handling information at the moment.

Children might struggle with:

  • Reading at the standard pace
  • Understanding what they read
  • Accurately recalling what they read
  • Making inferences based on the reading
  • Spelling words

Q: What are writing-related learning differences?

A: Writing requires complex visual, motor, and information-processing skills.  Writing-related learning differences (also known as “dysgraphia”) may cause the following:

  • Slow and difficult handwriting
  • Difficult to read handwriting
  • Difficulty putting thoughts into writing
  • Written work that’s poorly organized or hard to understand
  • Problems with spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Q: What are math-related learning differences?

A: A child might have math-related learning differences (often referred to as “dyscalculia”) if he or she finds it difficult to:

  • Understand how numbers work in relation to each other
  • Calculate and solve math problems
  • Memorize basic calculations
  • Use math symbols
  • Understand word problems
  • Organize and record information while solving a math problem

Q: What are learning differences related to non-verbal skills?

A: A child with non-verbal differences like ADHD and ASD (aka “autism spectrum disorder”) may have trouble with the following:

  • Interpreting facial expressions and non-verbal cues in social interactions
  • Using language appropriately in social situations
  • Physical coordination
  • Fine motor skills such as writing
  • Attention, planning, and organizing
  • Higher-level reading comprehension or written expression

Q: What are the signs of learning differences in children?

A: Be on the lookout for these signs:

  • Poor mastery of reading, spelling, writing, or math skills expected of their age and grade levels
  • Difficulty in understanding and following instructions
  • Poor memory
  • Poorly-coordinated motor skills
  • A tendency to misplace belongings
  • Difficulty in understanding the concept of time
  • Resistance doing homework or activities that involve reading, writing, or math
  • Consistently cannot complete homework assignments without significant help
  • Defiant, hostile, or excessively emotional reactions at school or while doing academic work

Q: What can I do as a parent if my child has a learning difference?

A: Children with learning differences might experience performance anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, chronic fatigue, or loss of motivation. Some children might act out to divert attention from the challenges they face in school.

Learning differences must be addressed as early as possible to prevent more severe issues later. As a parent, you might want to consider the following:

  • Seek help. Hire a tutor or other trained professional so they can help your child improve academic, organizational, and study skills.
  • Arrange for accommodations. Talk to your child’s school or teacher(s) and see if your child can have more time to complete assignments or tests, be seated near the teacher to promote attention, use computer applications that support writing, or listen to audiobooks to supplement reading.
  • Consider therapy options. Occupational therapy might improve your child’s motor skills, while speech therapy can help address language skills. At Currey Ingram Academy, we can provide an assessment to see where your child falls within the many learning differences to prepare a plan for growth and improvement. Click here to schedule an assessment.
  • Enroll your child in a school focused on helping children with learning differences. Currey Ingram Academy is a private school in Brentwood that empowers students with learning differences to reach their fullest potential. The school’s life-changing, personalized instruction will help your child thrive and succeed beyond the four walls of a classroom.

Currey Ingram Academy is a private school in Brentwood that supports and empowers students with learning differences to achieve their fullest potential – academically and socially – within an environment that fosters holistic student development. Get in touch by calling (615) 507-3173.

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