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Recognizing the Signs of a Learning Disability


Recognizing the Signs of a Learning Disability

Recognizing the Signs of a Learning Disability

April 7, 2021 abbey No Comments

Learning disabilities can impact how your child receives and processes information. And they can make it hard for your child to succeed at school and in their private life. 

If your child hasn’t been officially diagnosed with a learning disability like dyscalculia or dyslexia, you may think they’re just acting out or neglecting their school work. That’s why it’s helpful to become familiar with the signs of a learning disability. 

At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California, Dr. Richard Abbey and our team treat a variety of learning disabilities, including ADHD. While the symptoms of each learning disability vary, there are some general signs to look out for.

Signs of a learning disability 

If your child has a learning disability, one or several of the following behaviors may be present:

  • Difficulties reading, writing, or with math at age-appropriate levels
  • Problems paying attention and following instructions  
  • Challenges with short-term memory
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination 
  • Constantly losing or misplacing belongings 
  • Difficulty staying focused and organized
  • Acting impulsively, defiantly, or hostile 
  • Having a hard time with changes in schedules or situations
  • Problems listening or understanding words or ideas

These behaviors may be more obvious at school than at home and are often mistaken for regular childhood behaviors. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s helpful to get a professional diagnosis. 

What to do if you think your child has a learning disability 

When you suspect your child has a learning disability, it can feel isolating. But about 15% of school-aged children struggle with a learning disability. And the good news is that, with the right type of early intervention, your child can accomplish just as much as other children. 

If you start seeing any of the signs of a learning disability in your child, start gathering information on their behaviors at home. Talk to their teachers to get an idea of what they’ve observed at school.

Whether you’ve gathered a lot of information on your child’s behaviors or only have suspicions, it’s always helpful to have them tested. Your child’s school should be able to provide a comprehensive educational evaluation that can give you a big-picture look at where they are in their learning, and determine if a disability is present. 

For an official diagnosis, you may have to visit several specialists, such as an occupational therapist, developmental psychologist, or clinical psychologist. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, you can get started on the treatment that will work best for your child. 

How individualized educational therapy can help  

At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, our learning specialists offer individualized educational therapy programs. We can help plan and measure both short- and long-term goals for your child to help them succeed both at school and in life.

Through educational therapy, we help your child better process information to improve their skills in areas like writing, reading, and math. The specific strategies we use and skills we work to strengthen depend on your child’s individual needs.

Depending on your child’s needs, we may have them work on improving things like their: 

  • Verbal expression
  • Planning and organization
  • Procedural and conceptual thinking
  • Visual-spatial skills
  • Working memory
  • Reading comprehension

At each educational therapy session, we use holistic, brain-based learning techniques that incorporate a variety of multisensory methods and materials. We also incorporate specialized brain training programs that help improve cognition. 

To get your child started on individualized educational therapy for a learning disability, call our office at 650-215-6840, or book an appointment online today. 

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