What Are the Signs or Signals that a Child May Have a Learning Difficulty?

A learning disability impacts the way a person understands new information throughout their life. They may, for example, find it tricky to learn new skills, interpret complex information, and cope independently.

For children with a learning disability, particularly those who also have special educational needs (SEN), receiving the right support as early as possible can positively impact the rest of their lives.

Schools for children with special needs like Brighton School are equipped with the facilities and educational staff to deliver appropriate levels of support. However, it is vital that potential learning difficulties are identified and accurately diagnosed before a child can benefit from a special educational environment.

Many children experience difficulties with writing, reading and other learning tasks at some point, but this certainly doesn’t mean they have a learning disability. What are some of the signs that could be indicative of a learning disability?

Common indicators of a learning disability in children

Children with a learning disability may find reading, writing and mathematics to be very challenging because understanding concepts and words can be a struggle. This can have an impact on their speech, as they may use the types of short and simple sentences used by younger children. Additionally, they may struggle with organization, following directions, and paying attention. Issues with telling time can also be an indicator, as well as general clumsiness.

They may also be highly impulsive, taking actions without considering the potential outcomes or “act out” in social and/or educational settings. These indicators can be exacerbated if a child has trouble focusing on a task or is generally very easily distracted.

It is important to remember that any combination of these signs isn’t enough to accurately determine whether a child has a learning disability. Only professionals can make a diagnosis, but we hope this has given you an idea of what you may be able to look out for if you have any concerns about your child or a child in your care.

The role of schools for children with special needs

Schools for children with special needs are designed to meet the educational needs of children who would struggle to meet the demands of a typical elementary, middle school and/or high school program. Brighton School is the leading private school for learning disabilities in Toronto, designed for elementary and secondary students with learning disabilities.

In addition to smaller class sizes, Secondary High Schools may also offer “full year courses” that provide longer learning periods than traditional semester courses. Additionally, pre-credit programs can be undertaken to build key skills in areas including general knowledge, numeracy, language and literacy, which will provide a solid foundation that can be built upon over time. Children will have access to beneficial learning strategies, and timetables will typically be created to support planning, organization, and time management skills.

Some schools are also placed to accept students with more complex learning needs, including those who will benefit from 1:1 or 1:2 support.

What we have collectively come to view as “traditional” educational settings aren’t equipped to ensure that every child receives the guidance they need to thrive. Schools for children with additional needs or learning disabilities are run by teams of experienced professionals who understand how to ensure every child has the opportunity to build key skills that will support them throughout life. 

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