How Learning Disabilities Affect Our Children’s Lives

Young man struggling over an exam.

If you are a mom like me, then you will be on the watch for common signs of learning disabilites in your children. Your ability to detect these disabilities will mean the difference between success and trouble in your child’s life.

We will spend some time reviewing the types of learning disabilities and the effects on our children’s lives. When you have a special kid, life can have its challenges.

The Kinds of Learning disabilities

The following are the different kinds of learning disabilities:

  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Dyscalculila
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
  • ADHD
  • Dyspraxia

Auditory Processing Disorders are conditions that affect how sound that travels through the ear is processed or interpreted by the brain.

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s skills in understanding numbers and math facts.

Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects reading and language-based processing skills.

Language Processing Disorder is a particular type of Auditory Processing Disorder where there is trouble attaching meaning to sound groups that form words and sentences.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities are disorders with a great discrepancy between the person’s higher verbal skills and weaker motor and social skills.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit is a disorder that causes issues with the understanding of information that a person sees. It also affects the ability to draw or copy.

ADHD is a disorder where the individual has difficulty staying focused and paying attention.

Dyspraxia is a disorder where there is difficulty in muscle control.

You can read more about the different types of learning disabilities here: What Are the 7 Main Types of Learning Disabilities

Diagnostics for Learning Disabilities

The first part of determining whether your child has a learning disability is a special group of diagnostics. If your child is having some sort of issue in school, then a disability may be suspected.

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The following are some of the types of ways of investigating learning disabilities:

  • Intelligence Tests
  • Developmental and Social History
  • Records Review
  • Behavioral Observations
  • Achievement Testing
  • Adaptive Behavior
  • Specialized Tests

We will not go into the specific ways of investigating learning disabilities here because they are detailed and numerous. Suffice it to say that, in modern times, we have grown knowledgeable and sensitive to the indicators of all the known learning disabilities.

For more specific information on the diagnostics of learning disabilities, look at this webpage: Understanding the Learning Disability Assessment Process

How Will a Learning Disability Affect Your Child’s Life

Life is full of wonderful surprises. Being diagnosed with a learning disability is one that is not welcome. We call the disabled ‘special’ in our country, but they may not feel so special.

So, here are a few of the life challenges that are brought on by learning disabilities:

1. School is a challenge. – Kids with a learning disability are many times singled out for their disability. They are separated into slower classes and given extra help.

This special treatment may make the student feel stigmatized and different.

2. It can be difficult to find and perform well on your job. – Your learning disability can get in the way of job performance by making it harder to read or perform other intellectual tasks. If you are a writer, then your disability may affect your reading and writing abilities.

3. Your self-confidence may suffer. – Kids get compliments from adults based upon their performance at various intellectual tasks. The learning disabled child may not get as much praise as other kids.

Your child may compare themselves constantly to the proficient kids. This may make her feel inadequate.

To read more about this theme, consult the following webpage: Three Ways My Learning Disability Affects My Life

Ways That You Can Help Your Child Gain Confidence in the Face of a Learning Disability

The trick when dealing with a child who has a learning disability is to give them confidence without patronizing them. My child has the inkling that she is sometimes given a compliment that is not so sincere.

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The truth is that every child has the capability to do great things. You need to emphasize the real achievements and progress of your child.

You should deal realistically with your child with respect to her disability. You should let her know that her disability doesn’t have to be a stumbling block in her life.

The key to your child’s success is perseverance. By working extra hard at life’s challenges, your child can be successful at pretty much anything that she puts her mind to.

Also, you should look for symptoms early and follow up on treatment as soon as you can. If treated early, then a disability might vanish or be greatly mitigated.

Conclusion

My experience with my own children indicates that, with a lot of love, a learning disability doesn’t need to ruin your child’s aspirations and goals.

My children were diagnosed early on with dyslexia. Their dyslexia has greatly improved, and their favorite activity is actually reading their favorite books.

People do not even know that my children have dyslexia, outside of their teachers and doctors. The stigma that goes along with having a learning disability comes mainly in the cases that are not treated.

On a final note, the more sincere love and approval that you shower on your children, the more confident adults they will be. The formative years determine, in large part, what kind of adult your child will be.

Of course, we all make ourselves. However, there is a platform that we all work from. This platform is the attributes and abilities that our parents have inculcated in us from birth.

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Dawn is an experienced classroom teacher. As a mom of four, she has learnt many ways to keep life and learning fun. One of her favorite pastimes is sharing her life’s lessons with others.