Common clues to learning difficulties:
- The people who best know the child in question are nearly always surprised that they are not learning better than they are.
- The child/children is not learning like the others. A child may have difficulty getting information from using her eyes but she learned very quickly using her ears.
- Check a child’s vision and hearing. If normal start looking for other clues from a child’s physical make-up, chemical/food intolerances, neurological and developmental issues.
- Look for signs of behaviour that misses clues, indicates they are the “class clown” or results from built up frustration over trying to learn.
- frustration over trying to learn.
- Look to see if the child is covering up a problem by day dreaming, avoidance techniques eg left homework at school/ I did it all in class.
- Listen for key words from teachers eg day dreaming, inattentive, disruptive, never completes work, doing everything but ____, doesn’t get on with his peers.
- Start thinking/asking about a family history of poor achievement at school – some learning difficulties can be hereditary.
A Learning Difficulty occurs when a child develops very unevenly and has apparent unexplained difficulty with learning to read, sitting still, paying attention, writing, spelling, knowing how to get along with classmates and succeeding at sport or other physical organised activities. It can be simplified by thinking how information gets into the mind and out again. We learn the world through our ears, eyes, touch, taste, muscle movement and sense of smell. If some of these are not feeding the mind with correct information we are in trouble. We mightn’t hear clearly or see accurately or how we see something mightn’t agree with how we feel it or hear it – this all makes learning hard.
They can also be hard to detect – it isn’t as visible as a broken leg.
A good plan is to do what you have control of, then tackle emotional issues and finally get help or try to tackle the root of the Learning Difficulty. Remember no two children with Learning Difficulties have exactly the same problems – similarities are often expressed differently.