Children with Learning Disability look like students who do not have learning disabilities. Children with Learning Disability are smart or smarter than their peers. Usually parents and teachers comment “he or she is smart in all aspects except in studies.” It is difficult to identify the children with learning disability from their physical look or common behavioural patterns.

Learning Disability is an unexpected academic backwardness happening to a child of normal intelligence. We can identify Specific Learning Disability from the difficulties related with reading, spelling, writing and other learning related tasks. With the help of following pointers parents and teachers can recognise the problem of their children and can take steps to provide appropriate remedial measures to rectify them. No two children with LD have the same characteristics. Each child with LD is unique in his/her characteristic problems. It is important to remember that the presence of a few pointers does not mean that a child has LD.

Pointers of LD for Pre-School Children

  • Poor clarity of speech with some sounds.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Difficulty with buttoning, shoe lacing.
  • Left-Right confusion.
  • Difficulty in learning letters or words. 
  • Reversals, Mirror writing in letters, numbers and words.

Pointers of LD for school going children – General

  • Poor /Inconsistent performance in exams.
  • No/ Slow progress in reading and writing.
  • Lots of errors in reading and writing.
  • Difficulty with math skills.
  • Problems in paying attention.
  • Difficulty in learning/ remembering spellings.
  • Wrong pencil holding.
  • Poor handwriting.
  • Difficulty with language – word finding difficulty, narration difficulty.
  • Doesn’t like school.
  • Low level of confidence.

Pointers of LD – Reading Problems

  • Slow progress in reading.
  • Reads very slowly with hesitation and lots of mistakes.
  • Omits words, letters or lines.
  • Adds words, letters or reads twice a word or line.
  • Substitutes words
  • Guesses words
  • Ignores Punctuation.
  • Poor reading comprehension.
  • Likes being read to, but dislikes independent reading.

Pointers of LD – Writing Problems

  • Incomplete notes/ answer sheets.
  • Difficulty with spelling
  • Strong dislike for writing/ colouring.
  • Reversals/ mirror writing (reduces after 7 years).
  • Trouble in writing down ideas.
  • Poor organisation of ideas.
  • Mistakes in sentence structure.
  • Messy written work

Pointers of LD – Problems in Mathematics

  • Difficulty with numbers, place value.
  • Difficulty in understanding/ doing arithmetic operations.
  • Difficulty with multiplication tables.
  • Difficulty with statement problems, deciding on operations.
  • Works out answer correctly but transposes the number while writing, e.g.: 82496/ 84296.

Pointers of LD – Problems in Social Skills

  • Poor self esteem.
  • Restricted peer interaction.
  • Prefers lonely play or playing with younger or elder children.
  • Difficulty in mastering non verbal communication.
  • Development of emotional/ behaviour disorders as secondary problems.