Learning disabilities affect people of all ages. This type of disability is caused by the brain's inability to process and store information. Most people with learning disabilities are very intelligent but lack the ability to remember things they see, hear or learn. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, over 15 million people suffer with this problem. Here are a few things you should know if you or someone you love have learning disabilities.
Receiving and sending information The brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body. In people with learning disabilities, they have a tough time completing this cycle. It often takes time to learn new things while others learn rather quickly. It may take repeated attempts to understand something new.
First signs. Almost all learning disabilities are diagnosed in children who have reached school age. Children soak up all types of information. However, some kids can't retain what they learn. The first signs of this disability are struggling to read, write or do any type of school subject. Speaking may be a problem as well. They struggle with listening skills or following directions. The child may not be disruptive to the class environment, but will not remember simple instructions at home or school.
Getting help. After a teacher or parent suspects that a child has a learning disability, they are tested. Specific tests will show which learning problem the child may have. There are two types of learning disabilities: verbal and non-verbal. Verbal problems include sounding out words, putting words into sentences and difficulty with understanding verbal instructions. Non-verbal problems include writing sentences, spelling and paying a attention to detail, questions or instructions. Children who have problems reading or writing may have dyslexia, a condition associated with recognizing words and sounds. Reading, communication and speech tests are common ways to diagnose learning problems including dyslexia.
Behavior problems. Some learning problems are due to behavioral issues. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, is one behavioral problem resulting from learning disabilities. The person may need certain medications to help control their behavior. Once the person is calm or less active, learning issues can be addressed. In most cases, learning and behavior is improved tremendously.
Influences. It's not certain why these types of issues occur, but most professionals agree that the problem may begin before birth. This may be caused by genetics or premature birth. The home environment may influence the condition as well. Individuals need a nurturing environment to grow and develop. Those who have disabilities may not receive this very important need.
Having a learning disability does not need to be a life-long struggle if it's addressed early on. Children who struggle in school can grow into functioning adults with the right help.