Understanding if your child might have a learning disorder can be quite challenging, so let’s try to simplify this a bit.
We all know that when kids start learning new skills such as reading, writing, spelling, or doing maths, they are bound to make mistakes – that’s a normal part of learning. However, if your child seems to be finding it harder than most for a longer time, it might be a sign that they need a bit more help.
We don’t need to wait until things get very tough for your child to step in and help. The earlier we notice and address these issues, the better. There are key skills, especially in their early years, that can indicate if your child might be finding reading, writing, or maths more challenging than usual.
For instance, your child might find it hard to:
- Hear different sounds in words
- Understand words that rhyme or start with the same sound
- Learn the names and sounds of letters or the names and values of numbers
- Remember and write the shape of letters and numbers
- Read simple words accurately without relying on pictures or guessing.
They might also struggle to remember and repeat short sentences or take a while to name familiar things.
Many of these skills rely on three main areas: phonological processing, orthographic processing, and working memory. Phonological processing is about understanding the sounds and structure of language. Orthographic processing involves recognising and remembering the shapes of letters and English spelling rules. Working memory is the part of your mind that holds and works with small amounts of information at the same time, like when doing a mental maths problem.
If your child continues to struggle despite extra help and support, it might be time to consider getting an assessment. If they’re having trouble with language, a speech therapist could help. If they’re having trouble with a specific school subject, a psychologist with experience in education might be beneficial. If they’re having trouble with physical skills, like holding a pencil or catching a ball, an occupational therapist could provide useful insights.
Remember, every child learns at their own pace, and some just need a bit of extra support to thrive. If you’re worried, it’s always best to reach out to professionals who can provide guidance tailored to your child’s needs.
Need more guidance or want to book an appointment? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. John Flett. Let’s work together to guide your child towards a bright future! 🚀