Health » Rising Sun Centre - Common signs of learning disability

Rising Sun Centre - Common signs of learning disability

Rohith was a bubbly and an easy baby. He did everything at the right time sitting up, crawling and walking .Though he was able to understand what was said to him, and sometimes he seemed to have difficulty getting his words out clearly. Even at the age of four he was saying things like pips for chips, par-cark for car park, tappoto for potato.


Though parents and his siblings tried to correct it he was not able to say it correctly. So it became a joke for the family. When he joined the kindergarten, all the teachers liked him as he was brighter and smarter in all the activities of the school and was better at jigsaws and Lego than his friends. The real problem began when he had to learn the sounds linked with letters, writing alphabets and numbers .He couldn’t get the hang of even simple things to do with reading and writing. As years passed the gap just got bigger and he slipped further and further behind. He couldn’t copy the notes from the white board quick enough so his mother had to ’ring his friend’s parents to find out what he was supposed to do. Finally his teachers suggested his parents to take him to the school psychologist for an assessment.


The report stated that Rohit’s intelligence was above average but had specific difficulty with reading and writing which is termed as “specific learning difficulty” .Parents were counselled about his specific problems and different techniques to deal with it. Rohit was given training on one to one basis by an experienced therapist in this field Over the next few months he began to improve and his confidence came back .Timely intervention helped him to learn how to cope with the problems effectively.


A large number of children with mild intellectual disabilities, borderline intelligence and specific learning disabilities face difficulties in coping with the academic demands in schools. These are children who seem to be equally functioning like their peers in every activities other than three major academic domains, namely reading, writing, and arithmetic’s. So they will be considered as lazy or irresponsible and parents get alerted by the complaints from teachers such as does not sit at one place, does not complete given tasks, is not interested in reading and writing etc.


If given appropriate support and taught in the way they learn, they can be helped to cope with the academics. Hence early identification and timely intervention is essential for appropriate remediation. 


How can they be helped?

Once you have identified the problem, the child should be referred to a multidisciplinary team which includes psychologists, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, and social worker for a comprehensive assessment. Academic development in reading, writing and mathematics should be evaluated using standardized tests. Once the evaluation is complete,the child must be provided with regular, structured, progressive one-to-one training from a therapist who has expertise and experience in this field. Implementation of an Individualized educational plan using multi-sensory teaching approach along with appropriate therapeutic interventions will greatly help the child to deal with the challenges successfully.


Common signs of Learning disability

Difficulties with reading (dyslexia)

Inaccurate either slow or with effort

Difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read

Omission of letters ,words or word endings

Addition of sounds or words in sentence

Substitution of words/letters

Mispronouncing words/letters

Transposing order of words in a sentence


Difficulties with writing

Slow in writing

Improper posture

Poor pencil grip

Difficulty in forming letters

Poor right left orientation

Inability to maintain line

Reversal of letters

Difficulties with arithmetic’s 

Difficulty in naming and copying numerals

Difficulty in relating number of objects to its symbol

Reversals of number.

Inability to apply computational skills to daily activity

Difficulty in arranging /grouping objects by size/shape/colour

Difficulty in mathematical judgment and reasoning


Other areas of difficulties

Visual and auditory processing deficits.

Higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, working memory and attention.

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Susan Thomas

Therapy Manager/Psychologist,

Rising sun centre for special needs,





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