Warning Signs

We know that all children are unique. We know they each have their own ‘fingerprint’ of strengths and needs. We know that they learn at their pace. Yet we wonder if they’ll catch up or if you should even worry about it. How long to wait to get them extra support? We may even see discouragement setting in, and as a result, the spiral of learning failure begins.

“Almost all children, regardless of social class or background, enter school believing they will be successful; tragically, by the time they are seven many have already been derailed.” — Dr. Jane Healy, Different Learners

How do you know if you child has a learning disability?

You know your child best. Most often it is the parent who first notices that ‘something isn’t quite right’. You notice that their hard work isn’t working. If you can recognize the warning signs, you can find support and stop the spiral before it’s too late.

WARNING SIGNS CHECKLISTS

Review the checklist appropriate for your child. If you answer yes to a few of the items on this checklist, it may point to a learning disability.

Grades K – 2

Smiley face History of delayed speech
Smiley face History of chronic ear infections
Smiley face Mixes up sounds and letter names
Smiley face Late establishing a dominant hand
Smiley face Difficulty learning rhyming words
Smiley face Trouble memorizing the alphabet, numbers, days of the week
Smiley face Difficulty learning to tie shoes
Smiley face Difficulty following multi-step directions
Smiley face Confuses basic words
Smiley face Poor pencil grasp

Grades 3 – 5

Smiley face Difficulty sounding out new words
Smiley face Trouble recognizing common sight words
Smiley face Skips small words when reading aloud
Smiley face Slow, choppy oral reading
Smiley face Difficulty with handwriting
Smiley face Letter or number reversals past age 7
Smiley face Confuses left and right
Smiley face Difficulty expressing thoughts orally or written
Smiley face Poor spelling
Smiley face Slow recall of math facts

Grades 6 – 8

Smiley face Trouble with word problems
Smiley face Avoids writing compositions
Smiley face Slow or poor recall of facts
Smiley face Avoids reading aloud
Smiley face Slow to learn spelling strategies
Smiley face Trouble summarizing
Smiley face Messy handwriting; poor pencil grip
Smiley face Trouble getting organized; planning schedule
Smiley face Weak memory skills
Smiley face Works slowly

Remember that all children learn at their own pace, and it is still normal for you to see one or more of these signs early on in their development. The real question revolves around how often it happens, how severe the struggle and how long it’s been occurring.

Even though as parents we may ‘know’ our child needs help, we often hold onto the hope that we are wrong. We are afraid of the label; afraid of any stigma. No parent wants things to be hard for their child. But what if, with assessment, you could find out why learning is a challenge and with individualized intervention, you could find the key to their success?

 

Waiting is not the best answer. The truth is that the longer we wait to find support and build these areas of weakness, the harder it is to create a strong foundation for learning. And, unfortunately, the learning gap between your child and their peers gets wider! 

The good news is that research has proven that with the right kind of help, your child can develop the skills needed to succeed in education and in life!

Let’s chat! Our team at GeerLINKS is eager to support you as you navigate next steps on your child’s journey of learning.