Learning disorders spectrum (LDs)

Concept of LD

LD is an acronym for Learning Disorder or Learning Disability. Essentially the LDs comprise a series of deficits that interfere with the child’s ‘learning’. Hence we use the term ‘disorder’. The awareness of Dyslexia among parents and teachers has gone up tremendously in the recent past. Children with LD learn things in a manner that’s different from the conventional pattern. The processing of information in the brain is different and the techniques used by kids to understand information are somehow unusual. The learning process thus becomes very tedious in such brains. This faulty pattern has to be corrected in order for appropriate learning experience to build. Dyslexia forms a part of the spectrum of learning disabilities, which may involve a range of difficulties in reading, writing, math, or all three together.

Why it occurred

The precise causes of LD are not very well known. Sometimes children tend to have LD if their parents or siblings have it or had it in the past. LD is set in motion early in life as the brain is developing. Imaging studies have confirmed that areas of the brain in children with LD are unalike from those of other children. The neural connects are ill established and they perceive objects (including alphabets and numbers) differently.

LDs are becoming more common

We see more and more children with learning disorders today. The term used more loosely today is ‘slow learner’. However this must be addressed with great caution because when children are ‘slow’ there is a very high chance that the information processing in their brain is different. They can see alphabets about may not assemble them into words. Hence they make spelling errors and in spite of repeated teaching (or even thrashing) they cannot learn things. They may appear dull and bored and perform badly. They need our assistance and should be brought ahead for treatment.

Ability versus disability

Intelligence is an overall description of ability in different dimensions. Usually we determine intelligence through words and performance. Children with LD may have good performance abilities. However the verbal component of intelligence, which included words, vocabulary and mathematics, will lag behind. These children are well aware of their environment and may ‘talk’ smartly and know what to do in complex life situations (street smart) however their intellectual performance in school may be lacking. With advancing age, the ability to retain information that is essential to succeed in life becomes more and more deficient and the child loses on the potential he is capable of attaining.

LD is not mental retardation

Learning Disorders does not mean mental retardation. The child may not perform optimally in school so it may raise a doubt that this child is retarded; however dyslexia needs to be understood as a specific disability. Your child’s brain looks at words differently. Letters seem to bounce up and down or they swim around the page, expand or contract in size, and even reverse themselves within the same word; so identification becomes difficult when the child is trying to read. Children thus have to reorganize their view of written material so that they understand it slightly at least. Such a child may read well eventually but may be extremely slow since the encoding and decoding process of words in the brain becomes very lengthy.

MINDFRAMES Remedial Education Center

Having dyslexia is not the child or teachers’ fault. Learning disorders are known to run in families, although a 100% genetic predisposition has not yet been confirmed. These are all specific disabilities in the encoding process in the brain and can be completely corrected with special teaching techniques. Early detection of Dyslexia and appropriate management is essential so that the child does not lose out during the important years of development. If it is detected or treated late, there is a danger of intellectual, social, emotional and moral lag, which must essentially be avoided. At MINDFRAMES the special remedial educator offers diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for children with specific learning disabilities and remedial training to manage the same. Detailed assessment throws light on the umbrella of learning disabilities and facilitates appropriate intervention. Parents and teachers are also given special teaching techniques to facilitate the child’s learning.

Common signs of LD

Some children with LD have problems with reading, some with writing; others with math and many with a combination and myriad of features that may seem unrelated.It is important to keep a general lookout for these signs in children

  • Careless mistakes in math
  • Repeated spelling errors
  • Taking a long time to read
  • Difficulty in reading aloud
  • Poor or illegible handwriting
  • Inversion of some alphabets
  • Taking very long to write
  • Clumsiness in all actions
  • Inability to recall things
  • Struggle to avoid studies

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to evaluate my child for learning disorders?
Mirror writing, lateral inversion, alphabet substitution and letter omission are considered normal till the age of 6 years which is the age by which written language ideally begins to mature. Thus learning disorders manifest only after this age. Hence it is best to get a child screened for dyslexia at six to seven years of age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dyslexia be treated? How?
Dyslexia is treatable with special education techniques. Various remedial education methods are available and customized to the needs of different children. Dyslexic children grow into hardworking, mature, intelligent and successful adults if they’re given a chance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my child develop dyslexia?
Dyslexia does not have a specific cause that we can pinpoint as such. It is not the child or parent the teachers fault. It may be due to some hereditary cause at times; or may result from minimal damage to the developing brain of the child before, during or after birth.