The term ‘learning disability’ is one that scares many parents. However, children who have learning disabilities may very well be as bright, curious, and interested in the world as those who do not. The only difference is that they have a problem with arithmetic, speech, or reading, for instance.
Learning disabilities can range from very mild, to quite severe, but often, children who do have a learning disability are of average or even above average intelligence at the same time, for example, children who are dyslexic are usually extremely intelligent, and excel in areas that don’t include reading.
No one is completely sure what causes learning disabilities – it may be genetic, or it may be due to substance abuse while pregnant, or something else, but then there are children with no family history of learning disabilities and no external influence that also have them.
Any difference in the way the brain processes information can be a learning disability, and it’s believed that as many as six percent of school going children have some form of learning disability. Most of these are fairly mild, and some experts say that only the severest cases should be taken into account.
There are many forms of learning disability, including dyslexia and dyscalculia, which are related to reading and maths respectively, but it is possible that your child may have another disability, or even a combination of one or more, in varying degrees of severity.
Most learning disabilities are only picked up when a child goes to school, and it is often your child’s teacher who will pick them up. However, you will still have to have your child tested and evaluated by a child development specialist, to determine the exact nature of the disability, and the best course of treatment.
If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, speak to your doctor about where you can get help. There are special programmes that help these types of children to learn, and although learning disabilities do not go away, they can be managed.