Does My Child Have a Learning Disability?

Child ReadingDo you suspect that your child might have a learning disability?

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, you’ve probably spent time researching it. You understand how he or she learns best and where he or she struggles. Maybe you even use technology, or other tools to help manage the disability. But if your child has a learning disability and you don’t know it, you won’t understand why he or she can’t master some tasks, and without understanding you’ll never be able to get the help you need.

Having a learning disability isn’t the same as being unintelligent. In fact, you can be of average or above-average intelligence and still struggle to keep up with people your age at school or at work.

Learning disabilities can affect a person’s ability in the areas of:

• Listening
• Speaking
• Reading
• Writing
• Mathematics

There are many resources online to help you. If you suspect your child has a learning disability spend some time researching common disabilities and their symptoms. For example, if your child had extreme difficulty counting by 2s, 3s or 4s, it may be that they have dyscalculia, a learning disability that makes it difficult to learn mathematics. At Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba, we’re here to support you in your search. Approximately 60 per cent of the calls we receive each year are from parents concerned about their children.

Learning disabilities don’t affect every person the same way, and though two people have dyscalculia, one may have a much more severe case than the other. If you think your child may have a learning disability, call us, or compare notes about what you’ve observed with the teachers, doctors and others in your life. If the difficulty your child is experiencing is widespread, we’re here to help you determine if your child has a learning disability and to offer support.

There is no set way to manage a learning disability. Instead, parents must try many strategies and see what works best. But realize, you are not alone: 1 in 10 Canadians have a learning disability and it is never too late to get help. In fact, at LDAM we offer many courses and programs to help children learn despite their disability. Once you’ve identified a learning disability it is much easier to take the steps you need to help your child succeed.

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