What are learning difficulties?
While attending school, you just can’t shake the feeling that your child isn’t keeping up with their peers. You feel your child’s confidence in their school-work is slipping, but you can’t figure out why. What’s happening?
Your child may be experiencing some difficulty learning. Your child is not alone. Approximately 1 in 10 children will experience this. The exact reason for why a learning difficulty may occur is not known, but it’s typically linked with parts of the brain that are processing information differently. I know it can seem daunting, but there are things that you can do to help. The key is detecting it early and getting support as soon as possible.
What exactly is a learning difficulty?
A learning difficulty is an ongoing issue with learning, focusing on the areas of reading, spelling, writing and maths. A child that is experiencing this may have a lower ability then their peers in one or more of these areas.
Although learning problems and learning difficulties are sometimes lumped together, they are not the same. Learning problems are more closely associated with circumstances, (i.e. extenuating circumstances, trauma, etc), or with motor skill impairment. Impairment of hearing, sight or other senses can affect learning, but if that problem is addressed, then learning can be restored to normal functioning.
Learning difficulties can feel overwhelming for both you and your child because it’s not something that can be cured. However, it can be assisted.
How can you help?
With some support, learning difficulties can be managed. It’s essential to recognise and improve skills early. The best way to start is identifying if there is a problem. A reliable resource will be your child’s teacher. They will be able to give you an idea if your child is progressing on track and at the same rate as their peers.
If they suspect that your child may need some additional support, get that support as soon as possible. You should try to get your child formally assessed for a learning difficulty to identify if they do indeed have one and what to do next.
Professionals that specialise in learning difficulties will be very useful and informative when it comes to tailoring a program for your child. Often times identifying the problem is the hardest part. If you’ve already gotten your child to a specialist, you’re well on your way to giving your child the best chance to cope with their learning difficulty.