‘LD’ does not stand for a single disorder. It is a term that refers to a group of disorders.
There is not a ‘lone sign’ that indicates that a person has a learning disability. Experts look for a noticeable difference between how well a child does in school and how well he or she could do, given his or her intelligence or ability. There are also certain clues that may indicate that a child has a learning disability. Most relate to elementary school tasks, because learning disabilities tend to be identified in elementary school. A child probably would not show all of these signs, or even most of them. However, if a child shows a number of these problems, then parents and the teacher should consider the possibility that the child may have a learning disability.
When a child has a learning disability, he or she may exhibit the following characteristics:
- Struggle with spellings
- Have a very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly
- Have trouble expressing ideas in writing
- Learn languages late and have a limited vocabulary
- Have trouble learning the alphabets, rhyming words, or matching letters to their sounds
- Make many mistakes when reading aloud; often repeat and pause
- Not understand what he or she reads
- Have trouble remembering the sounds that letters make, or in hearing slight differences between words
- Have trouble understanding jokes, comic strips, and sarcasm
- Have trouble following directions
- Mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sounds similar
- Have trouble organising what he or she wants to say or not be able to think of the word needed for writing or conversing
- Not follow the social rules of conversation, such as taking turns, and may stand too close to the listener
- Not be able to retell a story in an order (what happened first, second, third)
- Confuse mathematical symbols and misread numbers
- Not know where to begin a task or how to go on from there
To be honest, the signs of learning disabilities are deceptive; the signs of learning disabilities could be seen in all children who receive poor quality education. Thus, parents should be very watchful and not miss genuine signs.