Learning difficulties are invisible and children with learning difficulties can develop coping skills that mask the problem. Therefore learning disabilities can be difficult for parents to identify.
As a parent, you can help your child to succeed in life by accessing trained professionals who can help him/her develop learning strategies appropriate for the disability.
Why is early diagnosis and treatment important?
School is often the place where learning disabilities are recognized. Although learning disabilities may be identified by kindergarten-level pre-screening programs, they are often not confirmed until patterns are observed and recognized over time. Addressing learning disabilities early can help children avoid difficulties such as poor school performance, low self esteem, and loneliness.
What do I do if I think my child has learning disabilities?
- Have a child assessed as soon as possible rather than wait until his or her challenges are frustrating. Examples of areas in which difficulties show up: reading, writing, attention, organizational skills, memory and following instructions.
- Research learning disabilities, observe and reflect on your child's learning behaviors, and talk to professionals trained in this field.
- Investigate places that can help in your community (see next section). Your family physician or pediatrician can help you identify resources in your own community. If your child is school-age, teachers and counsellors will also know about resources in your school district and how to "navigate the system".