Recognizing Early Signs of Learning Disabilities

Question: I've read a lot about learning disabilities and all the trouble they can cause children. How soon can the signs of learning disabilities be recognized? - Concerned

Answer: The signs of learning disabilities can be recognized in preschoolers. It is very important for parents to know these signs, because the earlier children with learning disabilities get help, the greater their chance of success in school. In fact, the best chance for these children is when they are diagnosed by the time they reach the first grade, according to the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities. Once diagnosed, the law requires that schools teach these children using special approaches.

CCLD wants all parents to know the following early warning signs that are commonly associated with learning disabilities in preschoolers:

  • Late talking, compared to other children.
  • Pronunciation problems.
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word.
  • Difficulty rhyming words.
  • Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week.
  • Extremely restless and easily distracted.
  • Trouble interacting with peers.
  • Poor ability to follow directions or routines.

Many preschoolers might exhibit one or two of these behaviors; however, consistent problems with a group of behaviors is a good indication that a child has a learning disability.