How to identify learning disabilities in preschool- and elementary-aged children
Individual differences can make the manifestation of psychopathology varied and difficult to assess. In children, while learning disabilities all impact on their academic achievement and school performances, the symptoms can look very different. One child may be struggling with math, while another may excel in reading but for some reason do very poorly in spelling. It is not always easy to identify learning disabilities due to the wide variations, but there are similar warning signs that children will share. Below is a checklist that lists some of the common problems that you can use to see whether your preschool- or elementary-aged child has a learning disability.
Trouble pronouncing words
Problems finding the right words to express their thoughts
Difficulty in learning numbers, alphabets, colors, shapes, days of the week, and any other basic/fundamental systems
Trouble with following directions or learning new routines
Problems in controlling their fine motor skills
Are unable to or have great difficulties in controlling crayons, pencils or scissors
Are unable to or have great difficulties in dressing themselves (e.g. with buttons, zippers, snaps, shoelaces.
Problems with identifying the connections between letters and pronunciation/sounds
Unable to make words by blending sounds
Confuses basic words when reading aloud
Makes spelling and reading errors often
Difficulty in learning basic math concepts
Consistently slow in learning new skills
Have trouble in telling time and/or remembering basic sequences
There is no single profile or symptom that you can use as solid proof to help make a diagnosis. If you use the above-mentioned checklist and suspect that your child may have a learning disability, I am an Edmonton-based psychologist who would be able to give your child a psychoeducational assessment. Learn more about my services in the Edmonton area.