• Learning Differences and Disabilities

    Learning differences is an umbrella term for a variety of learning issues. Difficulty with spelling, pronunciation, counting, writing out the letters or recognizing shapes, may be due to a difference in the child’s neurological make up. According to The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY), Children with learning disabilities are not ‘dumb’ or ‘lazy.’ In fact, they usually have average or above average intelligence. Their brains just process information differently.”

    One in 10 people are diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) in their lifetime. Children do not develop a learning disability over time, they just “pass” for as long as they can. Unfortunately, many students with LDs are “lovingly” coined as “class clowns”, “shy”, “headstrong”, or just “unmotivated,” while they really are just struggling to participate in academics. If you are worried that your child has trouble at school, don’t wait, talk to a therapist. We can assess your child’s abilities and pinpoint the source of a problem if there is one. There are many ways to approach school work and we can find the best one that makes sense to your child. On the other hand, you might learn that you truly have a very funny kid who is otherwise perfectly capable of learning.

    Here are a few of the causes of learning differences:

    • Dyslexia – Difficulty with reading: Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking
    • Dyscalculia – Difficulty with math: Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money
    • Dysgraphia– Difficulty with writing Problems with forming letters and shapes
    • Dyspraxia – Difficulty with motor skills: Problems with new motor tasks: imitating moves, activities
    • Aphasia – Difficulty with language: Problems understanding spoken and written language
    • Auditory Processing Disorder – Difficulty processing language: Problems with reading, comprehension, language
    • Visual Processing Disorder – Difficulty interpreting visual information: Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures

    Other issues that can affect learning

    Difficulty in school doesn’t always stem from a learning disability. Anxiety, depression, stressful events, emotional trauma, and other conditions affecting concentration make learning more of a challenge. In addition, ADHD and autism sometimes co-occur or are confused with learning disabilities.

    • ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while not considered a learning disability, can certainly disrupt learning. Children with ADHD often have problems sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organized, and completing homework.
    • Autism – Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from pervasive developmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children with autism spectrum disorders may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact.