Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilitieslearning disabilities

What Are Learning Disabilities?

Learning disabilities are often misunderstood. In the simplest definition, a learning disability causes an individual to have difficulty absorbing and storing information. The person possesses normal intelligence but encounters problems in one or more areas of learning. The learning disability spectrum is large, ranging from small academic challenges to a complete lack of independence in daily life.

Unlike developmental delays, which are typically identified by a pediatrician during the toddler years, learning disabilities might not become evident until a child begins school. The classroom setting makes it possible to compare children and identify which students are not reaching learning milestones in a reasonable time frame for their age. It is important to note, however, that not all learning disabilities remain hidden until a child reaches school age. Some are revealed very early in a child’s life and may indicate brain trauma.

Causes of Learning Disabilities

Generally, a learning disability is the result of a neurobiological disorder, such as a unique brain structure or an atypical brain function. Those dealing with neurobiological learning disabilities differ from those whose ability to learn is impacted by handicap, emotional disorder, or environmental or cultural disadvantages.

Because the range of learning disabilities is so broad, determining the specific cause of a brain disruption (if that is indeed the source of the problem) can be difficult. Focusing on potential risk factors that may be involved may provide a good starting point:

  • birth trauma or birth injury
  • low birth weight
  • premature birth
  • stress during birth or before birth
  • severe head injuries or brain injuries
  • heredity
  • infections of the central nervous system
  • chronic illness
  • poor nutrition

Signs of Learning Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities may experience difficulty in areas that their peers take for granted, such as reading and writing or even running and jumping. In some cases, it’s not the learning disability that is noticed first, but rather the behavior that may result from the learning disability. Individuals with learning disabilities commonly suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Learning disabilities can be manifested in a variety of behaviors:

  • problems with listening or speaking
  • difficulty reading, recognizing, or understanding words (Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities.)
  • trouble writing and spelling, either mentally or physically (such as with handwriting problems)
  • struggles with reasoning, organizing thoughts, and time management
  • problems with memory and remembering instructions
  • challenges with basic math concepts
  • issues with physical coordination or poor fine motor skills
  • social problems, such as making friends, dealing with frustration, and learning from mistakes

Children who suffer from a learning disability may consider themselves inferior or imperfect, a belief that is painful for both child and parent. Finding the right support is critical. The goal is to help the child identify the best way to learn so his or her self-esteem does not suffer.

Surprisingly, children with minor learning disabilities may face greater difficulties than those who suffer more severe problems. Frustrated children who are aware that their learning disability is holding them back and preventing them from keeping up with peers are more likely to drop out of high school, which limits future job prospects and success.

With the right support, many learning disabilities can be managed or overcome. But others are lifelong and require special schooling for optimal success. The most severe cases may lead to the need for customized living solutions as an adult. Some individuals with learning disabilities may not be able to hold a job or will be able to perform only low-wage jobs.

When Your Child Is Diagnosed with Learning Disabilities

The first thing you want to do is figure out what your child needs to reach his or her fullest potential. But it’s equally important to pursue justice if you believe your child’s learning disability was preventable. If the disability is the result of poor medical care, medical malpractice, or a birth injury, then your child deserves compensation.

Early intervention and treatment can improve the life of a child who suffers from a learning disability caused by a preventable birth injury, but the problem should not have occurred in the first place. If you believe your child’s learning disability is the result of medical malpractice, contact Thurswell Law for your free consultation. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 to find out how you can receive full monetary compensation for your child’s suffering.

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