Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) are a group of disorders that pose as the biggest challenge in the path of academic achievement for a child. The most common academic difficulties faced by children diagnosed with SLD are reading slowly and incorrectly, skipping lines while reading aloud, making repeated spelling mistakes, untidy/illegible hand-writing with poor sequencing, and inability to perform even simple mathematics. They invariably fail to achieve school grades at a level that is matching with their intellectual abilities. The following checklist lists some common red flags for learning disorders:
Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Preschool age
Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Ages 5-9
Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Ages 10-13
Common types of learning disabilities may be presented as follows:
While there is no cure for specific learning disorder, there are many ways to improve reading, writing, and math skills for a child. Treatment usually includes both strengthening the skills and developing a learning strategy tailored to take advantage of a child’s strengths. For example, repetition and mnemonic devices might make it easier to memorize a math formula, and drawing a picture to illustrate a word problem might help a child visualize what is being asked. Treatment for specific learning disorder often also involves multimodal teaching. If a child has trouble comprehending a subject with his or her eyes and ears alone, other senses such as touch, taste, and even smell can play a role in the learning process. Similarly, learning to convert one sort of problem into another format may help (e.g. changing a traditional math problem into a word problem). A learning specialist can help determine the services or accommodations a child might benefit from at school. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy in particular, may also be helpful in treating the emotional and behavioral problems that can accompany specific learning disorder.
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