Is your child with autism struggling with academics and you are concerned that they may have a learning disability? Would you like to know about different kinds of learning disabilities so that you can advocate for special education eligibility that your child requires to benefit from his or her education? This article will discuss 7 common type of learning disabilities and some signs and symptoms of each.
1. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in nature. A few of the common signs are: difficulty with accurate fluent word recognition, poor spelling, poor decoding, does not understand that words come apart, and can be broken down. This difficulty tends to result from a deficit in the phonological component of language. Also difficulty in reading comprehension, reading is labored and does not flow easily.
Some parents are being told by some special education personnel that their children cannot have Dyslexia because they do not switch their letters. This is a myth and actually does not occur with a lot of children with dyslexia. Dyslexia is more related to being able to break down and understand language.
2. Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) is a disorder where a child can hear fine but the information gets mixed up in side the child’s brain. For Example: You may tell your child to go get her hat and she comes out with her boots. Some parents think this is defiance but if what you say gets scrambled, the child cannot respond appropriately. This has major educational implications as much of teaching is done verbally!
3. Visual Processing Disorders is similar to the above but what gets mixed up is visual information not verbal. While some teaching is done verbally a lot of teaching is done with books and reading material. Imagine how crazy it can get for the child if everything they read gets scrambled! Also major educational implications.
4. Dysgraphia is when a person struggles with forming letters or writing within a defined space. Some children with disabilities have poor handwriting but this goes beyond that. The child does not remember how to make the letters and then physically struggles to do so. Assistive technology is a great way to help a child benefit from their education, if they have dysgraphia.
5. Dyscalculia occurs when a person has trouble solving math problems and grasping math concepts. If a child is given appropriate instruction in math but still cannot grasp basic concepts it may be due to Dyscalculia.
6. Non Verbal learning disabilities is a specific disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain. This causes difficulties with visual spatial, organization, and executive function areas.
7. Written Language disability is when a child cannot grasp sentence structure and also cannot put their thoughts and ideas into words. Many children with disabilities also have a written language disability. One sign is that the child’s writing assignments seem immature and do not match the way the child speaks. It is critical that a child with this disability be taught appropriately so that they can write papers etc. If they do not learn this skill it will keep them from post school learning.
What is very interesting in the last several years is that many children have begun to be diagnosed with several disabilities, not just one. Some children with autism may be later diagnosed with Dyslexia, or Central Auditory Processing Disorder or other learning disabilities. By understanding and having knowledge of these 7 common LD’s may help you advocate for your child.