Could my child have a learning disability?

So, your child is struggling in school and nothing is working. The idea pops in your head from time to time that maybe they have a learning disability? It’s something no parent wants to think about, but it’s important to have good information to help you make the best decisions for your child. Some signs you may be seeing are as follows according to the National Institute of Health.

You may notice one or more of these.

  • Difficulty reading or writing

  • Attention problems

  • Difficulties remembering

  • Disorganized

  • Insufficient coordination

They may also display the following symptoms.

  • Easily distracted

  • Inconsistent school performance

  • Difficulties finding the right things to say

  • Inappropriate responses in school or social settings

  • Immature way of speaking

  • Difficulties listening well

  • Problems adapting to change

  • Problems understanding words and concepts

Below you will find learning disabilities you may or may not be familiar with and information pertaining to each.


People with dyslexia have trouble with letters, sounds, spelling and word recognition.

Common signs may include:

  • Failure to fully understand what others are saying

  • Difficulty organizing written and spoken language

  • Delayed ability to speak

  • Poor self-expression (for example, saying "thing" or "stuff" for words not recalled)

  • Difficulty learning new vocabulary, either through reading or hearing

  • Trouble learning foreign languages

  • Slowness in learning songs and rhymes

  • Slow reading as well as giving up on longer reading tasks

  • Difficulty understanding questions and following directions

  • Poor spelling

  • Difficulty recalling numbers in sequence (for example, telephone numbers and addresses)

  • Trouble distinguishing left from right


Dysgraphia is characterized by problems with writing. This disorder may cause a child to be tense and awkward when holding a pen or pencil, even to the extent of contorting his or her body. A child with poor handwriting that he or she does not outgrow may have dysgraphia.

Other signs of this condition may include:

  • A strong dislike of writing and/or drawing

  • Problems with grammar

  • Trouble writing down ideas

  • A quick loss of energy and interest while writing

  • Trouble writing down thoughts in a logical sequence

  • Saying words out loud while writing

  • Leaving words unfinished or omitting them when writing sentences


Signs of this disability include problems understanding basic arithmetic concepts, like fractions, number lines, and positive and negative numbers.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty with math-related word problems

  • Trouble making change in cash transactions

  • Messiness in putting math problems on paper

  • Trouble recognizing logical information sequences (for example, steps in math problems)

  • Trouble with understanding the time sequence of events

  • Difficulty with verbally describing math processes


A person with dyspraxia has problems with motor tasks, like hand-eye coordination, that can interfere with learning.

Some other symptoms of this condition include:

  • Problems organizing oneself and one's things

  • Breaking things

  • Trouble with tasks that require hand-eye coordination, like coloring within the lines, assembling puzzles, and cutting precisely

  • Poor balance

  • Sensitivity to loud and/or repetitive noises, like the ticking of a clock

  • Sensitivity to touch, including irritation over bothersome-feeling clothing

However, it should be noted, these signs are not enough for a diagnosis. If you think your child may have a learning disability, please talk to your pediatrician. They can direct you appropriately.

All content gathered from the Department of Mental Health and Human Services.

“What Are the Indicators of Learning Disabilities?” Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Dec. 2016,


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