Common Learning Disabilities in Children

Learning disabilities can affect a child’s acquisition of basic skills in life such as reading, writing, speaking, and doing arithmetic. In some cases, it can also affect his/her ability to organize, plan, reason, pay attention, and retain information. Not only will the child be unable to keep up with most children at school, but the disability can also impact the way he/she will interact with other people and form relationships.

Unfortunately, most children are not diagnosed with learning disabilities until they are sent to school, while others don’t have the access to the special care they need as they grow up. Add to that the misconception of mixing learning disability with learning problems associated with mental retardation, economic disadvantages, emotional problems, and handicaps.

Types of Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in Singapore according to studies and is closely followed by ADHD. Most learning disabilities cannot be cured and will be a challenge for the affected person and his/her family for the rest of his/her life, so it’s important to note the symptoms early on.

1. Dyscalculia
A child will not be able to understand the basic concepts of arithmetic; therefore, he/she has difficulty understanding sequence of events, doing cash transactions, and recognizing sequences of information.

2. Dysgraphia
The child with this condition has difficulty writing, has problems with grammar and writing in a logical sequence, and might exhibit a strong dislike for writing.

3. Auditory Processing Disorders
A child will find it difficult to understand sounds made by others, so it’s more likely that he/she will not understand what you are saying or comprehend the words you have used.

4. Visual Perceptual or Visual Motor Deficit
This condition will affect the child’s ability to understand information that he/she sees. Other symptoms include the inability to copy or draw the visual information, confusing letters that look similar, bad sense of direction, and misalignment of letters when writing.

5. Dyslexia
Children with this condition find it difficult to connect letters, sounds, spelling, and even recognizing words. The child may not be able to understand what you are saying, recall numbers in sequence, has difficulty learning new words and might delay the ability to speak, and has difficulty writing and speaking in an organized manner.

6. Dyspraxia
A child with dyspraxia will have problems with hand-eye coordination and will find tasks that require motor skills difficult. He/she has poor balance, is sensitive to loud and repetitive noises, sensitive to physical contact, prone to breaking things, and cannot organize his/her personal items.

7. ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by a child’s inability to control his/her behavior. He/she may also be hyperactive, impulsive or inattentive.

8. Memory Problems
Some children will have problems with short- and/or long-term memories, so they cannot create and even retrieve memories. They will find it hard to remember facts and follow instructions.

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