Types of Learning Disabilities and How to Deal

May 7, 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Every student is required to work hard in order to be successful. However, some students, despite working very hard may fail to produce the expected results. Parents are often worried about the learning problems of their children. A study reveals that learning disorders affect at least 1 in 10 schoolchildren. Psychiatrists are aware of the fact that some of the long-term consequences of learning disorders can be lessened with early intervention. However, if not detected and treated early, they can have subsequent ill-effect. For example, if a child does not learn addition, he/she will not be able to understand algebra in high school. This will make things tough for the child, resulting in frustration and emotional problems such as low self-esteem. Some children with learning disorders also retaliate and misbehave in school because of their peers teasing them. In this article, we have tried to note down certain common types of learning disabilities in children, their symptoms, and cures. This would be helpful for the parents to understand their children better.

What is meant by learning disabilities?

In simple terms, it means a wide variety of learning problems. Parents here have to understand that it is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Neither are their kids lazy or dumb. In fact, many such kids turn out to have brilliant minds. It is just that their brains are wired differently and this difference affects the way they receive and process information. Some most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, reasoning, listening, or speaking.

What causes learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities can be caused because of a number of reasons such as:

  • Neurobiological factors that alter the functioning of the brain in a manner that affects one or more cognitive processes related to learning. 
  • Learning disabilities may be linked through genetics and run in the family. 
  • A learning disability can result from anomalies in the developing brain during pregnancy. 
  • Learning disabilities can also be caused by head injuries, malnutrition, or toxic exposure.

What are the symptoms of learning disabilities?

  • Difficulty in understanding and following the given instructions

  • Difficulty in retaining whatever is being told to the child 

  • The problem in reading, spelling, writing, and/or math skills

  • Difficulty in understanding numbers and letters which might look the same or a tendency to reverse letters, words, or numbers (for example, confusing 25 with 52, "b" with "d," or "on" with "no")

  • Misplacing homework, school types of equipment and books, or other items

  • Facing problems in pronouncing words, finding the right words, rhyming or identifying colors and objects

  • The trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes

  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, messy and disorganized desk)

Some of these symptoms are recognizable during the school years, while others are detected later in life.  

What are the 3 types of learning disabilities and its characteristics

  1. Dyslexia: A learning disorder that impedes the student’s ability to read and comprehend a text. It affects reading and related language-based processing skills.
  2. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Students who suffer from ADHD find it difficult to pay attention and stay on a task. These students can easily get distracted. 
  3. Dyscalculia: Affects a person’s ability to understand and operate with numbers.

Problems that a child faces during dyscalculia:

  • 5-10% of the students suffer from this problem

  • Understanding the concepts becomes difficult

  • Similar numbers tend to confuse the kid

  • Inability to make quick calculations 

  • Inability to judge time, speed, and distance

  • Inability to grasp and hold numbers for calculations in the brain for a long time

Activities that can help them learn maths/Techniques to teach maths:

With a proper step by step approach of learning and understanding, dyscalculia is easily solvable. It is important to consult a specialist but it is equally important for parents to show care and support at every stage of the development process. Some of the steps which parents can take are:

  • Active participation with the child

  • Applying maths to small household works and using them as examples for the child

  • Making them play games which are maths oriented

  • Abacus classes can be a great source of learning

  • Teaching through a step by step approach of getting an answer

  • Clearing the doubts that a child asks in the learning process

  • Understanding his/her abilities and setting the difficulties on those parameters

Other types of learning disabilities:

  • Dysgraphia: Affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills. 
  • Processing Deficits: Trouble in making sense of sensory data. These deficits are most often auditory or visual. 

How to respond to learning disabilities?

  1. The very first and important step is to understand the child's learning difficulties. Such problems deserve evaluation by an expert who can assess all of the different issues affecting the child. 
  2. Children with learning disabilities mostly possess leadership skills or are superior in music, arts, sports, or other creative areas. Try to figure out his/her strengths.
  3. Meet with your child's teachers, tutors, and school support personnel to collect the information about the performance of your child. 
  4. Visit a specialist/a psychiatrist and plan for regular checkups.
  5. Work as a team to help your child.
  6. Talk to your child about their learning disabilities. Be informed. It is important, to be honest, and optimistic.
  7. Learn the specifics about your child’s learning disability. Find out how the disability affects the learning process and what cognitive skills are involved.
  8. Research for treatments, services, and new theories. Parents must educate themselves about the most effective treatment options available. 
  9. Pursue treatments and services at home. Make regular visits to counselors.

These learning abilities affect almost all the neurons of the brain. There is not a particular section that gets hampered. The major problems that a child faces are in his language and processing abilities i.e. English and Maths. We have mentioned a lot about dyslexia before in this article. Here is a piece of information for dyscalculia too:-

important notes to remember
Some Facts about Learning Disabilities
  • 15% of the U.S. population has some type of learning disability

  • 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems

  • Learning disabilities often run in families i.e. it may be hereditary 

  • Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as autism, intellectual disability, deafness, blindness, etc. 

  • ADHD and learning disabilities often occur at the same time

We understand that it can be tough to face the possibility that your child has a learning disorder. No parent wants to see his/her child in any kind of problem. Instead of thinking about the future, it is very important for parents to keep their child motivated and involved. It is important to remember that most of the kids with learning disabilities are just as smart as everyone else. They are just in need of some new ways of understanding and unique learning styles. Believe in your child and the inner strength that he/she possesses.

Cuemath lays special attention on the mathematical skill development of a child. Therefore, it provides students with specially designed teaching plans and maths-oriented learning games which helps them to improve their skill set and overcome the fear of Mathematics. It provides students with all the required resources which helps a kid to master mathematics. It has both an online and an application platform. There is also a Math gym app available for both iOS and Android offered by cuemath which provides plenty of opportunity for a student to learn and develop their skills. Personalised live classes help students to connect to their teachers in a better way on a Cuemath platform. This results in a faster growth and development of a student while tackling the problems which they face.

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