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That means they can be passed down in families through the genes, like many other traits we get from our parents and grandparents. Someone with a learning problem probably has other family members who have had some learning troubles, too. Kids with learning problems are sometimes surprised to find out that one of their parents had similar troubles in school. But kids today have an advantage over their parents. Learning experts now know a lot more about the brain and how learning works — so it's easier for kids to get the help they need.

Dyslexia say: diss-LEKS-ee-uh is a learning disability that means a kid has a lot of trouble reading and writing. Kids who have trouble with math may have dyscalculia say: diss-kal-KYOO-lee-uh. And people who have trouble forming letters when they write may have dysgraphia say: diss-GRAF-ee-uh. Other kids may have language disorders, meaning they have trouble understanding language and understanding what they read. It can be confusing, though. What qualifies as "trouble" enough to be diagnosed as a learning disability? Reading, doing math, and writing letters may be tough for lots of kids at first.

But when those early troubles don't fade away, and it's really difficult to make any progress, it's possible the kid has a learning disability. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD is sometimes thought of as a learning disability but usually it's not. Because most kids with ADHD can learn in school without special assistance, even though they may be easily distracted or have trouble sitting still in class. It's very hard for a kid to know if he or she has a learning disability. But kids don't have to figure all this out on their own. What a kid needs to do is tell someone.

Start with your teacher and your mom or dad. Even if you feel a little shy about it, tell them what kinds of problems you're having in school. Maybe you read a chapter for homework and then can't remember anything you read. Or in class, maybe everyone else seems to follow along easily, but you get stuck and don't know what page everyone is on. You might open your book to do an assignment and have no idea where to start.

Childhood Speech and Language Delays

But even if you say "yes" to some of these questions, you won't know for sure that there's a problem until you visit a school psychologist or a learning specialist. They can give you some tests to spot any learning problems you might have.

Learning disorders: Know the signs, how to help - Mayo Clinic

They'll also be able to identify what your strengths are — in other words, what you're good at! Once a psychologist or learning specialist figures out what your learning problem is, you both can start working on solutions. Even when children with speech disorders "catch up" to their peers in terms of their communication skills, the increasing demands of school and social interaction may cause them to struggle. Issues with receptive language can be hard to spot in very young children, and it isn't until it is time for them to start talking that parents may notice a problem.


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If you believe you or your child has a receptive language disorder, contact your school principal, school counselor, or school district office for information on how to request an assessment. Having your child evaluated for a hearing problem is also recommended, as hearing issues are a common cause of language problems. Parents of young children should be aware that language comprehension begins before the age of three or four years old. Kids with developmental language disorders usually start speaking later than other children their age.

At your toddler's well visits, keep your pediatrician up-to-date about the number of words your child can say prior to each visit and whether you have any concerns about delays in speech.

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The next step is to work with a speech-language pathologist or speech therapist to develop an effective individual education program for your child. Typical strategies focus on language therapy to develop the important connections between letters, sounds, and words.

Vocabulary development, rehearsal, and practice of using language in social situations may be helpful. In severe cases of receptive language problems, therapists may use multisensory techniques and whole language approaches. For students in college and vocational programs, their school's advising office can assist with finding resources to help ensure success.

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Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. Medscape J Med. Published Jun Rosenbaum, S. Overview of Childhood Speech and Language Disorders.

Speech and Language Development

More in School. A problem in communicating orally is one of the most common signs of a language disorder.

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Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Kaneshiro, N. Language Disorder in Children.