Have you ever met a person struggles a lot to read, write or do simple math leading to very low self-esteem and confidence? A person can also be termed lazy or dumb, but most are just as smart as everyone else. Everyone's brain is wired differently and has unique ways of processing information. Recognizing the ways and allowing the person to learn in that specific way helps a lot, and they can lead a successful life. During growth stages, children learn many skills like learning to speak, listen, read, write and do calculations in math. All these skills take a variable time to grasp, varying from person to person. However, if a child is given all the instructions and cannot keep up with fellow children, finding the issue and ways to help becomes important.
According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, a learning disorder is an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. Learning disorders generally affect people of average or above-average intelligence. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between ordinary skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance. In simple terms, children and adults with learning disabilities process information differently, hear it differently and understand it differently. As a result, it may be challenging tolearn new information and skills and implement them. In most cases, learning disabilities involve reading, writing, math, reasoning, and listening problems. It should be noted that every child has trouble with studies and homework, but if a specific area is consistently an issue, then it may mean a learning disorder.
Learning disorders are classified into various types based on symptoms. These are as follows.
Reading disorders (dyslexia) - This involves two kinds of reading disorders.
Basic reading problems arise when sounds, letters, and words are not understood.
Reading comprehension problems occur when words, phrases, and paragraphs do not make sense to the reader.
Disorders of written expression (dysgraphia) – This include physical writing skills and the ability to comprehend information. It has two types.
Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters.
An expressive writing disability indicates a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.
Mathematics disorders (dyscalculia) - Someone with dyscalculia may have difficulty memorizing and organizing numbers and operation signs. It also varies greatly based on the child's other strengths and weaknesses.
Reading, writing, and math are not the only skills affected by learning disorders. A person may also have motor issues and problems distinguishing sounds and interpreting visual inputs.
Its symptoms include:
Distinguishable signs of dyscalculia are:
Following are some of the important factors responsible for learning disorders:
Family genetics. Many times the disorders can be hereditary. If one has a family history of this disorder, it increases the risk of a child developing this disability
Prenatal risks. Exposure to alcohol before birth, low birth weight, premature birth, and poor uterine growth can cause learning disorders.
Psychological and physical trauma. Childhood traumas like physical or sexual abuse may hinder the brain's growth and increase the risk. Several nervous system infections and head injuries might cause the development of learning disorders.
Environmental exposure. Some chemicals and toxins like lead or mercury increase the risk of earning disorders.
Children frequently experience learning problems. 12.97% of primary school students in rural areas with IQs greater than or equal to 90 were found to have subpar academic performance. Between 3 - 10% of Indian pupils have learning difficulties, according to studies done to ascertain the prevalence of the condition. According to research done in Chandigarh, 1.58 percent of school children aged 12 to 18 have a particular learning handicap. Due to the lack of standardized examinations in vernacular language in this study, the prevalence rate was low. 9.7% of youngsters in the United States of America have a learning handicap at some point in their lives. Since diagnosing a learning disability is not always easy, do not assume that we know what the person's problem is, even if the symptoms seem clear. It is important to have the person tested and evaluated by a qualified professional. If we think something is wrong, listening to the gut is important.
Some professionals who can test and diagnose a learning disorder are:
There are two methods of diagnosis of learning disorders:
Educational, medical, and psychological evaluations and
During the school year, children take a series of intelligence tests, including verbal and nonverbal tests and reading, writing, and math proficiency tests. A specialist at a child's school may be able to perform these tests at the request of the parents. Schools must provide testing and appropriate accommodations by law in the United States and other nations.
The following can be the treatment options for the disorder.
Extra help. A trained professional can help with teaching techniques to improve study skills.
IEP. The individualized education program is mandated in some countries like the US, where special programs are for kids who pass a certain threshold of learning disability.
Medication. In cases of depression and anxiety, doctors can recommend certain medicines
Children who learn and think differently can thrive with the right support. The sooner we know what is going on with the child, the sooner we can get the child's help. Parents should consult a doctor immediately if they get any feeling of a disorder. These disorders do not hamper a child's growth once taken care of, and proper treatment and timely diagnosis can do wonders.