The signs and symptoms of learning difficulties may vary from person to person. Children at times have problems with writing, reading and doing other activities related to learning. These should not be construed as learning difficulties.

Learning disorder or disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These issues affect a child’s learning abilities -such as reading, writing or learning mathematics. The signs that epitomise that a child may have learning difficulties include the following:

Difficulty processing language or language-based disability or dyslexia

  • Speech difficulties
  • Difficulty in reading comprehension
  • Decoding words
  • Problems with fluency
  • Recollecting difficulties
  • Difficulties with alphabets, numbers, words
  • Difficulties in spelling words

 Writing difficulties

  • Poor vocabulary
  • Inconsistent spacing
  • Bad handwriting
  • Poor spatial planning on paper
  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty composing words
  • Difficulty thinking and writing at the same time

Visual defect or Visual Perceptual Defect

  • Difficulty in understanding the information a person sees
  • Disability to copy the visual information
  • Inability to draw
  • Dysgraphia
  • Difficulty in distinguishing shapes or printed letters
  • Poor hand-eye coordination

 Lack of attention

 Difficulty with maths (dyscalculia)

 Poor memory

Difficulty in following directions

Problems remaining organized

Get distracted easily

Highly impulsive in nature

Trouble paying attention or listening properly

Problems understanding words or concepts

In a nutshell, learning difficulties are the disabilities associated with processing information. In addition to the above signs and symptoms, learning difficulties can also interfere with reasoning, time planning, short-term and long-term memory and organizing abilities. In general, learning difficulties affect the ability to learn basic skills such as reading, writing, drawing and doing maths.

Determining learning difficulties in a child based on the signs and symptoms is not possible for an individual who is not a professional because – a specific learning difficulty has its own peculiar sign or a couple of signs along with other associated factors – which a professional childcare specialist or a child psychologist or a paediatric neurologist can identify. A professional child healthcare provider uses several assessment tools which are based on certain criteria to detect learning difficulties. Therefore, if you suspect that your child may have learning difficulties, then approach a child healthcare specialist.