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Specific learning disabilities cover a wide spectrum and can often disrupt the lives of those who live with them. However, with professional assistance, people who face challenges with specific learning disabilities can learn strategies to help them cope and flourish in their daily lives. The earlier you seek help for yourself or for your child, the more likely success is – both in school and in life.
If any learning disability goes without treatment, a child may feel frustration with schoolwork, have low self-esteem, suffer from depression, and fail to thrive. The impact can be substantial and lifelong.
Luckily, our team of experts at Behavioral Health Associates of Broward can work with you and your child to help them learn skills and build upon their strengths while compensating for their weaknesses. Every learning disability has a different pathway to success. And our job is to help your child pave their own unique path!
A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes that are involved in the understanding of or the use of language – whether spoken or written – that may show itself when the child is trying to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. It can include conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
It is important to note that specific learning disabilities do not include learning problems that are the results of limited English proficiency, economic disadvantage, cultural factors, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or motor disabilities.
Learning disabilities are broken down into different categories to help define treatments and solutions. These include:
If your child has a learning disability, you want to get help as soon as possible. Early intervention can help with creating coping mechanisms that will last for the rest of your child’s life. It is also important because you need your child to learn the basics, so that they can excel in other areas. Children who have learning disorders may also have other problems related to performance anxiety, fatigue, self-esteem, depression, and motivation. Often, learning disabilities can lead to social problems as well.
If you think that your child has a specific learning disability, you can contact BHAB for a psychological test or evaluation. Often, the child will need to be observed and complete a series of exams to render a diagnosis.
With specific learning disabilities, the signs and symptoms are vast and wide. Sometimes, you may not even notice them at home, and it will take a few years in school for them to emerge.
Your child might have a specific learning disorder if they:
Luckily, for children, there are various types of treatment options for specific learning disabilities. In the classroom, these can include special teaching techniques that use multisensory experiences that will help the child recognize words, patterns, and strategies for their own success. They may also require classroom modifications, including extra time, added support, recorded tests, and more.
Increasingly, the use of technology has helped children to learn – whether it comes in the form of using word programs, listening to books, or playing games. When needed, schools and teachers should provide these special tools for your child. Sometimes, they will allow your child to have a helper who will provide extra support, help with notes, or video record the class. You may need to advocate for your child to receive these supports.
Outside of school, you may need to help your child with counseling or behavioral therapy as well. This will enforce the techniques that your child learns in school and help with the development of social relationships, sports, and overall growth. Behavior therapy can encourage good self-esteem, daily routines, and healthy relationships. It will also give your child another support pillar who can help them overcome challenges as they arise in their daily life.
Children who have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities require and deserve a little extra help in school and out of it. Be sure to pay attention to educational laws to ensure that your child is given the same opportunities as other children. Often, this comes in the form of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).
The best thing you can do for your child is to seek professional help early on and work with them to create the supportive scaffolding necessary for them to flourish and enjoy life.
Need help diagnosing or coping with the struggles of a specific learning disability? Contact Behavioral Health Associates of Broward to get more information or schedule an assessment today! Call us at 954-909-0888.