Does Your Child Have a Learning Disability? Take This Self-Test

Find out if a learning disability might be causing your child's problems in school--and what you should do if it is.

Find out if a #learning #disability might be causing your child's problems in school--and what you should do if they are. http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10012.html

NOTE: This test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.

Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with ADHD have a learning disability (LD). The reverse is also true. Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with LD have ADHD. If a child has been diagnosed with ADHD and continues to struggle academically even with treatment, he may have an LD.

LD is a neurologically based disorder that results in problems processing and using information. Different children have different patterns of learning strengths and weaknesses; there is no one profile that describes all children. Here is a checklist that will give you clues about whether your child has an LD.

Preschool

My child has communication problems, such as slow language development, difficulty with speech, and finds it hard to understand what is being said or communicating his thoughts to friends, teachers, or family.
My child has poor physical coordination and uneven motor development--delays in learning to sit, walk, color, or to use scissors.
My child has problems with remembering information, multiple instructions, and routines.
My child has delays in socialization, including playing with and reacting to other children.

Elementary School

Kindergarten to Fourth Grade
My child has problems with rapid letter recognition and with learning phonemes (individual units of sound).
My child has trouble blending sounds and letters to sound out words or remembering familiar words by sight.
My child has trouble with reading comprehension, forming letters and numbers, and basic spelling and grammar.
My child is challenged when it comes to mastering math skills and doing math calculations.
My child has difficulty remembering facts.
My child has trouble organizing materials (notebook, binder, papers), information, and/or concepts.
My child loses work he has done or forgets to turn it into the teacher.
My child has trouble understanding oral instructions and difficulty expressing himself verbally.

Fifth and Sixth Grades
My child is challenged when it comes to reading material independently and retaining what he read.
My child has difficulty organizing her thoughts for written work.
My child has difficulty learning new math concepts and successfully applying them.
My child finds it hard to stay organized in school and loses personal belongings, papers, assignments, or forgets to turn them in.

Middle School

My child has trouble retaining what was read (reading fluency), organizing and writing answers on papers and tests (writing fluency), and mastering more advanced math concepts.
My child has difficulty with organization, developing learning strategies, and time management.

High School

My child has increased difficulty with reading assignments, writing papers, and understanding math concepts.
My child has increased difficulty with organization and time planning as more independent work is expected.

What To Do If You Suspect LD

If you've checked off a majority of these statements, discuss your concerns with the teacher. Most public schools use a three-tier model for evaluating students.

  1. First, the teacher observes your child. If he or she agrees with your concerns, a special education teacher will observe your child in class.
  2. Modified teaching strategies may be tried.
  3. If the special-ed teacher agrees, a formal evaluation should be done to determine if your son or daughter has an LD.

If your child's teacher does not respond to your concerns, speak with the principal. (If your child is in a private school, you are entitled to speak to the principal of the public school your child would have gone to and request help.)

The principal should set up a meeting of school professionals to discuss your child and your concerns. Ideally, this group of professionals will agree and conduct an evaluation, which might initially consist of observation and trial interventions. If the interventions aren't successful, a full battery of testing, called a psycho-educational evaluation, should be done.

You may opt to hire your own professional to do a psycho-educational evaluation. If the results confirm your concerns, this professional should meet with the special-ed team back to ask that these findings be reconsidered.

For more resources on learning disabilities, see:

Beyond the ADHD Diagnosis: Understanding Common Learning Disabilities in ADHD Children

ADHD or Learning Disabilities (LD)?

Detecting Early Reading Problems in Children with Learning Disabilities

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