Learning disability can result from disruption to any stages of the learning process. Specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the learning processes associated with language use (written or spoken) that affects listening, reading, writing, speaking and spelling skills, or mathematical abilities.
Children with learning difficulties can also be susceptible to hyperactivity, impairments in perceptual-motor coordination, disorders of attention (ADHD), impulsivity, disorders of memory and language problems. Specific learning disabilities are Dyslexia or problems with reading, Discalculia or problems with mathematical calculations and Dysgraphia or problems with spelling and writing.
When To Test your Child for a Learning Disability?
- Underachievement at school
- Bored, disengaged at school
- Behaviourally disruptive in class
- Struggling to keep up with homework, assessment tasks and avoiding academic tasks
Learning Disability Comprehensive Assessment Process
The primary diagnostic criterion of a specific learning disability is a substandard performance on a standardised academic test of reading, writing, comprehension and mathematics. These tests are not the same as the ones used by schools or by the educational system (e.g., NAPLAN). The assessment for children with learning difficulties is used in the diagnostic process and is specifically aimed at evaluating key academic areas in comparison to a “norm” or average performance. The second component of the assessment process is to screen for cognitive (thinking) deficits that could be confused with a learning disability. For this purpose, it is extremely important to evaluate a child’s intellectual ability (IQ) and functioning. Other areas that may need screening are emotional difficulties, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)and language functioning.