What is a learning disability? What is a learning disability? What is the difference between the two?
At school, everything is fine for 8-year-old Zoé. On the other hand, she is unable to differentiate between the larger (>) and smaller (<) signs. For 14-year-old Samuel, reading has always been a nightmare. Samuel is dyslexic. What is the difference between these two cases?
A learning difficulty is temporary. It requires timely and appropriate intervention. It can be related to what the child is going through, a move or the separation of the parents, for example.
Zoé therefore has a learning difficulty. As soon as she understands the concept, that the click will happen, the difficulty will be a thing of the past. However, she may face other difficulties one day.
A learning disability is a permanent disorder of neurological origin. It disrupts one or more neurological functions, which impairs the acquisition, understanding, use and processing of information. It affects approximately 10-15% of the population.
For his part, Samuel will have to live with dyslexia all his life.
It is important to know that a learning disability is not caused by an intellectual disability, a lack of supervision, a lack of motivation or an environment disadvantaged.
Main learning disabilities
- Dysphasia (language)
- Dyslexia (reading)
- Dysgraphia (writing)
- Dyscalculia (arithmetic)
Do you think your child has a learning disability? He must first undergo an evaluation by a specialist such as a neuropsychologist or a speech therapist. He will analyze his academic progress, his intellectual assessment and his psychoaffective profile.
Is the diagnosis positive? Do not panic: you will not be left to yourself. Together with the teachers, the school administration, yourself and your child, a remedial teacher will establish a specialized intervention plan, which will be reviewed each year. This plan contains all the strategies to put in place to help your child succeed.
With a lot of patience and perseverance, he could go from a situation of failure to very satisfactory results.
How can I help my child?
- Arm yourself with patience. Homework and lessons will never be fun. But always keep in mind that the learning disability is a brain "connection" problem, it's not your child's fault.
- Be positive. Encourage him, congratulate him on his successes, use his interests to motivate him. ByFor example, if your child struggles with reading but loves superheroes, Spiderman, Hulk or Iron Man books can help develop their reading skills.
- Emphasize the effort rather than the result. A “Well done! You have worked so hard to complete your project. will encourage your child to persevere.
- Break large tasks into smaller ones: climbing several small hills seems easier than climbing a huge mountain.
- Vary the learning methods: this will allow you to understand how your child learns best. Does he need to touch, sum up, observe?
You don't feel comfortable explaining certain concepts to your child? Feel free to use a tutoring service like School Success.
- Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
- Institute for Learning Disabilities