LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

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Learning difficulties in a child could cause anxiety among parents, and the child is left in a helpless situation not able to comprehend why nothing is going right with him despite his hard work.

Learning difficulties are a major issue confronted by a child in a classroom learning context. Many parents are unaware of the fact that learning difficulties may interfere with the concentration in the classroom, his math’s development skills, and language skills too.

There is a difference between learning difficulty and learning disability.

Learning difficulties has nothing to do with general intelligence; a child requires additional time to understand his subjects, or complete the assignments at school. 

Whereas learning disability is a neurologically linked problem, the problem affects the child by interfering with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and mathematics, and language.

Let’s see the typical learning difficulties and their impact. Parents have to observe their child closely whether he is fighting any academic or behavioral problem and what may be the cause and then take an informed decision about the care and help the child requires.

Learning difficulties broadly fall into two categories:

Input problems: The difficulty arises getting the information into the child’s brain; it is a problem with his vision or hearing.

Processing problems: the interference with the way a child hears, understands, organizes and stores the information in the brain.

INPUT PROBLEMS:

Visual: The most common eye difficulty is a problem with acuity – an inability to focus. On the blackboard with well-defined words to a normal eye may appear fuzzy. A child who is nearsighted has a perfect vision at words closer to his eyes, but the distant objects may appear blurred. So he would face difficulty seeing details on the blackboard.

Hearing and speech: Children have a very complicated hearing and speech system.

Some children have ‘microphone ear.’ Like a microphone, they catch all the surrounding noises not able to concentrate on what a teacher is teaching. These children can do better when the surroundings are quiet with few distractions.

Attention: A brain has a kind of filtering system to eliminate surrounding noises, distracting elements and allow us to concentrate on the ‘important’ aspects we do, and in children when they are reading and preparing for examinations.

In some children, there could be a possibility that the filtering system becomes weak or impaired, where we find a child suffering from ‘attention disorder.’

PROCESSING PROBLEMS:

Visual perception: The eye is like a camera. It can only see and makes no sense of what it sees. It’s the brain that constantly helps a child to organize and understand the gamut of colors, shapes, ideas, recognition, and interpretation of words and sentences.

They call this perception, and it plays a major role in a child’s learning process. Children often face a problem when the coordination of the eye and brain is not proper and poor. It becomes a visual perception problem for a child.

One simple example a child gets confused with letters b with d, b with p, and g with q. The result: he misspells and mispronounces and misunderstands the words and sentences.

Memory: As in visual perception, it requires even more persistent coordination between eyes and the brain to enjoy an outstanding memory. A child has to practice memorizing skills to improve their memorization stamina. 

Many children struggle today with the fundamentals that must be memorized – like multiplication tables, dates, and facts in history, mathematical formulae, and vocabulary because of poor memory skills.

A limited vocabulary doesn’t help in expanding thinking skills.

Reassure your child:

Children like adults choose honey than anything bitter. Keep that in mind, dear parents, always focus on what keeps a child doing well and save a stock of appropriate praises ready for them.

If you can’t praise the child’s attempts at least find one reason to praise him – his enthusiasm, his hard work.

Don’t nag him what he can’t do; he may not solve a problem alone but guide him that his actions are towards solving them. Parents must guide and admire the person he is – a child.  

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