Article in brief: Detecting learning disabilities in children in their early years by having a proper evaluation and diagnosis from a qualified professional can help them in lifelong achievement and happiness.
Every child has a little bit of Einstein hidden and locked up inside of him. The best way to bring out that Einstein is to ensure that any barriers to learning are removed for a successful learning journey. There is hope for every child struggling with learning difficulties. When it comes to learning, we need to tackle the key issues of learning disabilities during the early years, doing that can help a child blossom not only in school but also throughout their life.
Each family might have a child who is active, full of life and pursues their favourite hobbies and that impresses parents in general, however, some children might encounter stress and sometimes anxiety, especially when it comes to school. Some parents are stuck in a loop of hiring personal tutors but unfortunately the problems resurface again whenever the child encounters a new challenge. But if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that tutors are just the temporary and sometimes the wrong solution.
Imagine you have a broken arm and your doctor prescribes a pain medication instead of taking an x-ray and setting your arm in a cast so that it takes a natural healing process. In this case, the effect of the remedy is fast and effective but for a short term. It is the same thing when it comes to learning difficulties where you should look deeper to the underlying causes of the problems rather than solving the observable symptoms.
Learning disorders are an umbrella term for all the learning problems a child might encounter. Its signs and symptoms vary from one child to another at different times. Generally, some children struggle with reading and spelling, while others love books but can’t understand math. Others may have difficulty understanding what others say or can’t communicate with them.
If we look at signs in pre-schoolers, the child might face difficulty in pronouncing or finding the right word, trouble in learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and trouble with following directions or learning routines. Keep in mind, that you know your child better than anyone else does, so if you think there is a problem; it doesn’t hurt to get an evaluation.
I remember a mother who deprived her child from having a proper test by a qualified professional and receiving special education since she thought that would make others look at him as he has neurological problem, which was unfair to the child. That child neither was able to carry on with his studies in university nor was accepted at the workplace. I do believe that no parent wants to see their children suffer but some decisions make a child struggle for a lifetime.
In fact, children with learning disorders are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are just wired differently. This difference influences how they receive and process information.
As a parent, if you suspect your child has a learning disorder, you may require special assistance and you shouldn’t delay in finding support. Keep in mind that the sooner you move forward, the better your child’s chances for reaching his or her full potential.
Most of the time, teachers may encourage intelligence (IQ) tests to measure cognitive mental skills and basic processing ability and achievement tests to determine how well a child is doing in academic subjects (stored knowledge). The IQ test doesn’t reveal the source of the struggle in a child’s learning but the average that conceals the real problems, which might show up the problems at any point during their education. If you start with your child’s school and they were unable to help you, visiting specialist to diagnose learning disabilities would minimize the concerns and explore better solutions.
For children who struggle to learn, there is hope! Children can get immediate results that have a lifelong impact on learning by applying Cognitive skills testing which obtains a lasting, positive solution. A professional learning disorders specialist might refer to the importance of “integration” to learning. “Integration refers to the understanding of information that has been delivered to the brain, and it includes three steps: sequencing, which means putting information in the right order; abstraction, which is making sense of the information; and organization, which refers to the brains ability to use the information to form complete thoughts”*.
When we don’t take the issue of children’s learning deficiencies into consideration in their early years, they suffer emotionally, psychologically and socially on all levels. In essence, their self-esteem which is the child’s passport to lifetime mental health and social happiness becomes very weak if you don’t intervene earlier to make a difference. However, with learning more about learning difficulties in general, and your child’s learning deficiencies in particular; you can assist in paving the way for your child’s success at school and beyond.
Written in collaboration with Arabian Child organization. Visit www.arabianchild.org for more information about early childhood education in the United Arab Emirates.
A loving mother of a son who has changed her life and put it into perspective. Ayesha is a senior social media specialist, a Global Leader for young children in the Arab region, and a writer in few Arabic publications. Her column is written in collaboration with the Arabian Child organization, and offers inspiration and an in-depth exploration of early childhood development.