Children with learning difficulties process things differently. This makes learning new things more challenging for them. They may not know how to express their problems and seek help. More often their difficulties are misinterpreted for laziness, defiance or disinterest. As parents, let’s accept them as they are with their difficulties and potential for growth and development. With the right guidance and support, each child can perform well. In this blog, let’s look at the top 11 issues faced by children with learning difficulties.
Main difficulties faced by children
Memory problems can affect a child’s ability to organize thoughts and express clearly. They may find it difficult to follow directions or learn new skills that involve multi-step procedures. More often this is misinterpreted for laziness or lack of motivation and the child is criticised or rebuked for the same. This can lead to low self-confidence and avoidance or refusal to learn new things.
Difficulty in comprehension
Children with this issue face problems in reading and spelling, may confuse words and meanings, leave out parts in a passage and have trouble connecting ideas in what they are reading and may appear disconnected. This results in disinterest, procrastination, low self-esteem and socialization issues.
Poor attention and concentration
A child with this difficulty often makes mistakes in schoolwork, has trouble organizing and staying focused on tasks or play activities. They avoid or dislike doing things that involve mental efforts for prolonged period of time. Often this is mistaken for disobedience, disinterest or laziness.
Being overactive and impulsive
Uncontrollable restlessness, constant fidgetiness while sitting still, butting into other’s games frequently, blurting out answers and interrupting often, may all be signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity in a child. Children with this issue struggle at school and have trouble interacting with others which often results in judgement and less acceptance by peers and adults.
Difficulty in organizing work and time management
Children with difficulties in working memory, flexible thinking, reading and spelling or understanding the sense of numbers may find it hard to organize their tasks and manage time. This can lead to deteriorating academic performance, procrastination or aversion to studies and extracurricular activities.
Weak socialization skills
Poor listening skills, problems in expressing oneself appropriately, difficulties in perception and interpretation, lack of confidence – all can lead to weak socialization skills in children. These children find it challenging to connect with people and have trouble making and keeping friends and relationships.
Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
Children with low self-esteem doubt their abilities and can hardly stand up for themselves. They may give up on a task easily or never try for fear of failure and judgement. They feel others won’t accept them and may end up evading.
Difficulty in self-expression
A child who is able to express well feels happy and confident. But some children find it hard to organize thoughts in their brain or find the right words to verbally communicate their thoughts and emotions. This may lead to frustration and low confidence.
Difficulty in doing daily activities
Routine brings in consistency and makes life easier. But when kids fail to follow daily activities, it can be exhausting for parents and the child is often judged to be lazy or defiant which may not be the truth always. Poor attention skills, trouble with organizing and managing time can all make adherence to daily chores difficult for a child.
Reading, writing, spelling and mathematical difficulties
A child may show difficulty in all 4 categories reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic or in a single category. However mild or severe, the difficulty affects child’s academic performance, self-esteem and confidence. When attended early, children can be taught to manage and compensate for their differences.
Difficulties in logical thinking and problem solving
It is essential for young children to learn problem solving skills as it grooms them to face complex issues in academics, relationships or life in general. Difficulty in identifying and understanding problems and brainstorming workable solutions, may lead to low confidence, fear, anxiety and avoidance.
Look for a learning program that can support your child’s learning needs
Learning disability (LD) can be diagnosed only when a child reaches 8 years and not before. Signs and severity of LD differ from one child to another and so does the treatment. A special educator designs supportive learning program based on each child’s strengths and skill needs.
If you feel your child has a difficulty, reach out for professional help without delay. Earlier the intervention, easier the management! Remember, every child can learn if we can make the learning process less demanding.