Learning Disability and my child
How do I know if my child has a learning disability?
Is your child struggling in school? Does he have difficulty reading and writing? Maybe you wonder if they have a learning disability and if there is something you can do to help them succeed. Recently on our disability forum we had a parent ask, How would I know if my child had a learning disability?
Learning Disabilities defined
If your child has a learning disability it can affect their reading, writing, math solving skills, speaking and listening. Unfortunately, without a good diagnosis children with a learning disability may be labeled as lazy, dumb, unmotivated or a trouble maker, but the truth is they may simply need a little more help to process information correctly. Early intervention can make all the difference especially if you can get the proper diagnosis for your child and help tailor their teaching to match their learning style.
Diagnosing a Learning Disability
Because learning disabilities can encompass a wide variety of difficulties it may be tough to diagnosis your childs problems, but there are some common red flags that you can watch for to determine if your child has a learning disorder. So what should you look for? If your child is under four to six years of age you may notice the following:
- Inability to follow directions
- Difficulty with fine motor skills such as coloring and cutting
- Difficulty manipulating zippers, snaps or buttons
- Inability to speak clearly or find the right word
- Inability to pronounce common words
As your child progresses through elementary school you may start to notice they are unable to learn new skills, they cannot blend sounds to make words or they cannot learn basic math concepts.
At this point the school should recognize if your child is below grade level, but dont leave it to them to solve the problems. Be proactive! Talk to your childs teacher and develop a plan to help them.
Consider, by third grade most children have letter and word recognition. They can understand ideas and how to express them. Their reading should be fluent and they should have a good grasp of vocabulary. If your child cannot do these things they may have a learning disability.
Older children and Learning Disabilities
As children age without proper help the learning difficulties can become more pronounced and severe. Adolescents with severe learning disabilities may be unable to read and comprehend advanced math skills. They may avoid reading. They also may have very poor handwriting and misspell common words
What do I do about my childs learning disability?
Thankfully most schools have tests to determine if your child is on grade level. By third grade they can diagnose common learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Most schools also have tutoring available in math and reading.
Can my child get SSI for a learning disability?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not offered for minor learning disabilities. To win SSI for a child with a learning disability you will have to prove the learning disability causes a marked and severe functional limitation. For an adult, you must prove that your condition is so severe that you cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.