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The term “Learning disability” is defined as a neurological disorder in which a person’s brain works or is structured differently. These differences interfere with a person’s ability to think and remember and memorize. Learning disabilities can affect a person’s ability to speak, listen, read, write, spell, reason, recall, organize information, and do mathematics. Because learning disabilities cannot be seen, they often go undetected. Recognizing a learning disability is even more difficult because the severity and characteristics vary.

A learning disability can’t be cured–it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life. Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.

Facts about learning disabilities
Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems. Learning disabilities often run in families. Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities. In addition, they should not be inferred to be on account of frequent changes of schools or attendance problems. Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.

Common learning disabilities
Dyslexia – a language–based disability in which a person has trouble understanding words, sentences, or paragraphs.
Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
Dysgraphia – a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
Auditory and Visual Processing Disabilities – sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.

How to recognize learning disabilities in your child?
The good news about learning disabilities is that scientists are learning more every day. Their research provides hope and direction. If parents, teachers, and other professionals discover a child’s learning disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful and productive life. Parents are often the first to notice that “Something doesn’t seem right“.

If you are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early. The following is a checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.

Preschool Kindergarten–IV std. Std V to VIII

Senior School Students and Adults My child has LD…what do I do?
It is not easy to talk with your child about a disability that you do not fully understand. Be informed. It is important to be honest and optimistic–explain to your child that they struggle with learning, but that they can learn. Focus on your child’s talents and strengths. Tell them you are confident that with effort and the right help they will be able to meet the challenge and succeed!

Find arrangements that can help. Teachers can change classroom routines to help children with learning disabilities. Meet with your child’s teacher about these possibilities: Reading written information aloud, allowing extra time on exams, taping lessons, and using computers etc.