Learning Disabilities in Northern New Jersey
Learning disabilities can make academic achievements difficult, but they do not make them impossible. Help with learning disabilities is readily available from Psycho-Educational Associates, serving New Jersey patients in and around Totowa, Little Falls Township, and Woodland Park.
What is a Learning Disability?
Learning disabilities are classified as neurological disorders, meaning a person who has this type of disability is simply wired differently. Many problems and issues can arise in someone who has a learning disability. Some of the signs of a learning disability include the inability to learn certain types of skills or learn skills in certain ways. People with learning disabilities generally have difficulty with subjects like math, reading and writing; they can also have difficulty speaking, listening and reasoning.
Because of the impairment of many of these skills, many people in the past simply thought the person with a learning disability was rude or did not want to learn because he or she was not listening or would not respond.
Types of Learning Disabilities
There are many types of learning disabilities that can affect how the brain functions and processes information. People who struggle with math might not struggle with reading, and people who struggle with reading might not struggle with writing. The term learning disability is simply a term used to describe one of the several different disabilities that can include:
- Dyslexia – the inability to process reading comprehension in traditional ways
- Dysgraphia – the inability to write the same way other children are able to solve them
- Dyscalculia – the inability to solve math problems in the same way other people can.
Misconceptions about Learning Disabilities
It was once thought that adults and children with learning disabilities were “stupid”, “dumb” or “lazy”. We now know that differences in the way our brains work cause some people to have learning disabilities. Individuals with learning disabilities are, in some cases, smarter, yet simply do not learn in the same way everyone else does. They need to be taught in ways that other kids might consider confusing or non-linear.
Those with learning disabilities must find new ways to understand and comprehend information. There is no “getting over” a learning disability. People with these disabilities will need to find new ways of retaining information for the rest of their lives.
How Common are Learning Disabilities?
Approximately one million children between the ages of 6 and 21 have been diagnosed with a learning disability. In the United States alone, one out of every five people has a learning disability, making them extremely common.
What Are the Signs of a Learning Disability?
Unfortunately, diagnosing a learning disability isn’t necessarily easy, since signs can vary in severity and often come in groupings. Children might show signs of one disability and not another, or children might show mild signs. Teachers and professionals must look for a variety of signs in a child’s math, reading, writing, speaking, listing and reasoning skills to determine if a disability is present.
Common Disability Traits
Children often experience trouble early on with sound and letter connection, rhymes and alphabet letters. They might also experience:
- Difficulty reading out loud without pausing
- Problems with spelling
- Awkwardness when holding a pencil or pen
- Difficulty with reading comprehension
- Hardships when learning language and vocabulary skills
- An inability to grasp sarcasm tonal changes, comics, and jokes
- A hard time understanding directions
- An inability to remember how letters sound
- Trouble distinguishing between numbers or symbols
- Difficulty remembering the sequence of events
- An inability to stand at a socially acceptable distance from others
- Problems beginning a task
- Challenges when following the steps of a task or determining the proper steps
- Problems remembering how to follow seemingly simple instructions
Teachers now have the power to understand more about these debilitating disabilities, and should look for signs in children who show difficulty displaying a grasp of concepts such as reading comprehension, math problem solving, basic speaking skills, listening skills and comprehension and writing skills. Though a child might show some of these signs, they do not necessarily have a learning disorder. Parents and teachers should look for patterns, and complete further evaluation if one or more of these signs are apparent.
A learning disability does not mean your child can’t progress academically. Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with treatment for learning disabilities and a variety of other services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!