There are many experiences that a child can face that are challenging-none are as more complex or misunderstood then a learning disability. It is not often until we are in the adult stages of our lives that we are capable of effectively communicating our inner frustrations and conflicts, in children frustrations are often presented in behaviors. A child may act out as their way of expressing inner turmoil, often receiving negative attention in turn, but attention none-the-less. Learning disabilities are not easily detectable in young children. Often symptoms don’t present themselves until the start of a child’s formal education. Yet, almost 2.9 million schoolchildren struggle with a learning disability.
Often confused with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) learning disabilities differ on many levels. Although all are neurological conditions and share similar symptoms- learning disabilities may be experienced in one or more forms. It is also not uncommon for a child with a learning disability to have ADD or ADHD in addition to the learning disability. What is important to understand is that learning disabilities are not outgrown. They cannot be cured; sometimes-medicinal treatments in addition to educational modification plans may not be effective in helping a struggling student. Learning disabilities are indiscriminate and affect children regardless of intelligence; they are not privy to any one race, gender, or socioeconomic class. They are not the fault or flaw of a child, their parents, or educational systems.
Attributed to neurological dysfunctions in the brain treatments are primarily cognitive, however in some cases medication may be used to create balance for the brains systematic processing. Greater emphasis is placed on indentifying the particular disability and developing an educational and support plan to help the child to develop necessary skills for success. There is no method in identifying a learning disability, it is a collaborative effort made on the part of parents, educational systems and sometimes-private agencies. To identify a disability a series of comprehensive tests should be completed to develop a plan of action.
Testing can commence in one of two ways. The first is through the school district. United States Federal Law mandates that all children are to receive a free public education and in that, children with identified disabilities fall under special rule and are by law due opportunities for learning that are fair and specifically address options for students to have an equal education in spite of disability, therefore enacting alternative teaching measures for students who have learning barriers.
If teachers have expressed concern to you about your child’s progress, or you suspect that your child may have a learning disability request an assessment to your child school district and one will be provided at no cost. The assessment will include a collective evaluation of your child’s current abilities compiled from a series of tests. These tests may include medical opinions, psychological evaluations, educational tests that measure a child’s learning. Parental and educational observations weigh into the diagnoses as well. While the fear of having your child “labeled” may be a setback, remember that you are only helping your child in the end.