3 Apr : Children with learning disabilities exhibit a wide range of symptoms. These include problems with reading, mathematics, comprehension, writing, spoken language, or reasoning abilities. Hyperactivity, inattention and perceptual coordination may also be associated with learning disabilities but are not learning disabilities themselves.
The primary characteristic of a learning disability is a significant difference between a child’s achievement in some areas and his or her overall intelligence. Learning disabilities typically affect five general areas:
1. Spoken language: delays, disorders, and deviations in listening and speaking.
2. Written language: difficulties with reading, writing and spelling.
3. Arithmetic: difficulty in performing arithmetic operations or in understanding basic concepts.
4. Reasoning: difficulty in organizing and integrating thoughts.
5. Memory: difficulty in remembering information and instructions.
Among the symptoms commonly related to learning disabilities are:
* poor performance on group tests
* difficulty discriminating size, shape, color
* difficulty with temporal (time) concepts
* distorted concept of body image
* reversals in writing and reading
* general awkwardness
* poor visual-motor coordination
* difficulty copying accurately from a model
* slowness in completing work
* poor organizational skills
* easily confused by instructions
* difficulty with abstract reasoning and/or problem solving
* disorganized thinking
* often obsesses on one topic or idea
* poor short-term or long-term memory
* impulsive behavior; lack of reflective thought prior to action
* low tolerance for frustration
* excessive movement during sleep
* poor peer relationships
* overly excitable during group play
* poor social judgment
* inappropriate, unselective, and often excessive display of affection
* lags in developmental milestones (e.g. motor, language)
* behavior often inappropriate for situation
* failure to see consequences for his actions
* overly gullible; easily led by peers
* excessive variation in mood and responsiveness
* poor adjustment to environmental changes
* overly distractible; difficulty concentrating
* difficulty making decisions
* lack of hand preference or mixed dominance
* difficulty with tasks requiring sequencing
When considering these symptoms, it is important to remain mindful of the following:
1. No one will have all these symptoms.
2. Among LD populations, some symptoms are more common than others.
3. All people have at least two or three of these problems to some degree.
4. The number of symptoms seen in a particular child does not give an indication as whether the disability is mild or severe. It is important to consider if the behaviors are chronic and appear in clusters.