The ability to learn is one the greatest gift anyone could have. That ability is a basis to achieve success in life and to grow in our acquired pool of knowledge in years to come. But a young child who is attending school for the first time, it is both an exciting yet apprehensive process. How the child eventually perceives learning depends on his/ her environment and most importantly whether he/ she has a learning disability.

Children with learning disabilities often have difficulty reading and understanding what is required of them. As a result, they do badly in class and are often labelled by their teachers, parents and peers as being "lazy" and "dumb". It's all too easy to criticize, to squarely lay the onus on the child as if they have deliberately, even intentionally, made a conscious decision to behave this way, when the truth is that they don't have a choice in the matter.

When people talked about learning disabilities, they tend to lump all the different types of learning disabilities together. This article examines some of the more common learning disabilities and difficulties. They are dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, as well as auditory processing and visual perceptual disorders. Also worth mentioning is a comorbid condition called ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). If you have ADHD, there is a very good chance that a learning disability is present as well.

Dyslexia is the most prevalent type of learning disability, which affects the ability to acquire skills related to reading, writing, and spelling, even though intelligence is normal. Children with dyslexia look at a page of words and see them as distorted shapes and moving objects. For example, when Jimmy tries to read the words won't stand still on the page. They appear to dance around and appear backwards. There are confusion with the letters p's and b's and numbers such as 6 and 9. Dyslexia seems to be rooted in the inability to translate letters into sounds, a serious difficulty in distinguishing phonemes, the smallest sounds that make up speech. The English language contains a total of forty-four such sounds. The word "cat," for example, is made up of three phonemes or sounds: kuh, aah, and tuh. Most people understand that, and it becomes an unconscious part or reading. But to a dyslexic person it's another story.

Difficulties with doing simple mathematics also known as dyscalculia, is another common learning disability. It involves problems with simple counting, recognition of arithmetic symbols, aligning numbers during addition, multiplication, and competency in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They may also have problem with telling days of the week and months of the year, as well as trouble with telling time.

When a child have a distinctive poor handwriting and consistent problem with spelling, it is known dysgraphia. Whilst these children maybe able to read well, they have specific spelling problem. Often there is failure to learn the kinds of words-specific rules that govern the production of written representation pronounced (mentioned in the fourth paragraph above). Thus words can be pronounced but are not spelled correctly.

Auditory processing disorder interferes with an person's ability to make sense and comprehend information received through the ears. It affects directly speech and language, as well as all areas of learning, especially reading and spelling. Because instruction in school relies mainly on spoken language, the child with this difficulty may have serious problem understanding the lessons or instructions. He/ she do not hear the little differences between sounds in words. Example; "Tell me how a chair and a couch is alike" may sound like "Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike." Imagine the confusion the child is encountering, especially in a situation where they are many people speaking or when the environment is noisy. They will have difficulty distinguishing all the various sounds.

A visual perceptual disorder affects how information is taken in through the eyes, and interpreted and processed by the brain. Visual discrimination is the ability to differentiate objects based on their distinctive characteristics. It is vital in discriminating objects and symbols. Attributes that children use to identify different objects include: color, form, shape pattern, size, and position. The child will encounter problem getting information from charts, pictures, graphs, maps and so on; filling up forms and finding information on a printed page; remembering directions to a place; researching and getting information from other places and combining it into one document.

Lastly, though ADHD is not a learning disability it usually occurs together. ADHD sufferers are constantly getting sidetracked all the time, never being able to finish tasks, drifting off onto some other activity, completely forgetting what they had originally begun to do. They are consistently inconsistent. It truly is a medical condition that affects the ability to focus, pay attention and follow instructions. Children with this condition in school will be a handful. The child with ADHD is always restless, can't sit still, and possibly annoys his classmates and teacher with his constant interruptions. Organizational skills are also affected causing problem with homework and school projects.

Given that there are so many things that affect a child's ability to learn, it is important to have a clear understanding of what is his/ her core problems are and finding help for your child. It is good to get an assessment from a professional to determine what and where specific problems in the learning process exist. This way it will be easier to formulate a plan of assistance for the child. Systematic tests include tests of developmental-mental processes, achievement skills, environmental demands, and behavioral and emotional problems.

In searching assistance for a child, parents can turn to special education teachers, clinical, developmental and educational psychologists, speech therapist and occupational therapist. These group of people can offer advice on where and what to do next. Information and resources can also be sought through your own research by reading up on the subject and sharing with other parents in similar situation. It is through awareness and knowledge of their condition that brings us closer to a viable solution. Though the process may be challenging and consume some amount time, the benefits may be far reaching.

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