Education

What is Specific Learning Disability and How is it Treated?

Specific Learning Disability or SLD is a special type of neurodevelopmental problem that has a great negative impact on the personality of an individual. Their ability to speak, listen, write, read or make calculations can be affected.

As these problems usually start at an early age, they can be identified easily and resolved. However, some of those may not be recognized till the time of adulthood of the person.

The symptoms

The symptoms of specific learning disabilities can be different for each patient. Such as, one child may be struggling with reading and spelling, whereas another one may love to read but could not understand the easy mathematical equations.

In some cases, the children may have some problems in understanding what others are trying to say.

As there are different types of learning disorders in the affected children, there is not a specific symptom to recognize the problem of SLD right away. However, there are several signs to warn the parents that their children may be a victim of Specific Learning Disability. Some of those signs can be:

Symptoms of Specific learning disability at preschool age

  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Trouble in pronouncing a word or words
  • Having trouble while following directions or routes.
  • Difficulty in rhyming
  • Facing difficulty while working with pencils and crayons.

Symptoms of Specific learning disability from the age 5 to 9

  • Very slow in learning new skills.
  • Trouble in blending syllables while making coherent sounds.
  • Having difficulty telling time and remembering a specific sequence.
  • Having problems in grasping the basic concepts of mathematics.
  • Continue difficulties in writing, reading, or doing mathematical reasoning.
  • Difficulty in memorizing the numerical facts.
  • Troubles with punctuation, grammar while writing.

Though suffering from SLD is a lifelong problem, with proper care and support, one can easily achieve success in their life.

The diagnosis of Specific Learning Disability

To diagnose this problem, several tests are usually conducted. Such as:

  • Achievement tests like Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement or WJ and Wide Range Achievement test or WRAT.
  • Intelligent tests like Differential Abilities Scales or DAS, Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence or WPPSI, and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or WISC.
  • Language tests like Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Test of Language Development, and Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation.
  • Visual-Motor integration tests such as Bender Visual Motor Integration and Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration.

Treatment of Specific learning disability

These learning disabilities need to be treated at the right time to avoid any other problems in the life of the child. Although there is no special cure for a specific learning problem, still there are several ways to improve the writing, reading, communicating, and calculating skills of a child.

Detecting this early on can benefit your child from therapy or treatment. If not, your child’s can affect their growth and ability to cope with it.

  • Extra help: A trained professional such as a reading specialist will be able to help your child improve his academic skills by teaching them reading, writing, learning, and overall study techniques and skills. They also teach children organizational skills.
  • IEP or Individualized Education Program: An IEP will be developed by your child’s school or a special educator that will illustrate how best your child can learn and cope in school.
  • Therapy: Some children may benefit from this method depending on their condition. Speech therapy, for example, can benefit children who struggle with language disabilities. Likewise, occupational therapy improves a child who has writing problems and motor skills.
  • Alternative/complementary therapy: Studies reveal that art, dance, and music as alternative therapy methods can benefit children with learning disabilities.

Clinical psychologists, counselors, special educators, pediatric neurologists, and child psychiatrists are all fully qualified to recommend the best treatment for your child in accordance with the severity of their learning disorder.

Hence, the problem of specific learning disabilities can be treated with several specific methods, and the child can live a normal life.

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