Learning Difficulties in Children – The Red Flags

Posted on 10-02-2021 by admin

Learning Difficulties in Children – The Red Flags

For Sandra’s daughter, Debbie, speech came a little later. She was already three years old when she spoke her first word and when she was learning to read and write, Sandra noticed that Debbie struggled often struggled with mixing up the letters in her spelling. When it’s time to learn her math, Debbie also took longer to get a grasp of mathematical equations. Soon Sandra began to worry. Is Debbie just a slow bloomer or is there a serious underlying issue that needs to be paid attention to?

What are learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.

Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.

While every kid has trouble with homework from time to time, if a certain area of learning is consistently problematic, it might indicate a learning disorder.

Children with learning disabilities can, and do, succeed. It can be tough to face the possibility that your child has a learning disorder. No parents want to see their children suffer. You may wonder what it could mean for your child’s future, or worry about how your kid will make it through school. Perhaps you’re concerned that by calling attention to your child’s learning problems they might be labelled “slow” or assigned to a less challenging class.

But the important thing to remember is that most kids with learning disabilities are just as smart as everyone else. They just need to be taught in ways that are tailored to their unique learning styles. By learning more about learning disabilities in general, and your child’s learning difficulties in particular, you can help pave the way for success at school and beyond.

What are the red flags for learning disabilities/disorders?

Learning disabilities look very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but can’t understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders.

It’s not always easy to identify learning disabilities. Because of the wide variations, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. If you’re aware of what they are, you’ll be able to catch a learning disorder early and quickly take steps to get your child help.

The following checklist lists some common red flags for learning disorders. Remember that children who don’t have learning disabilities may still experience some of these difficulties at various times. The time for concern is when there is a consistent unevenness in your child’s ability to master certain skills.

Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Preschool age

  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week

  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors, or colouring within the lines
  • Having trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes

Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Ages 5-9

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Slow to learn new skills

  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences

Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities: Ages 10-13

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Having trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Poor handwriting

  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganised)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a single document


If you see the tell-tale signs above being displayed in your child, DON’T WAIT and start getting a second opinion on what could your child’s learning difficulties be and how to manage them. Many parents often refuse to see learning difficulties as they are as none of us wants to accept that our child may be different or “slower” than others. Nonetheless, it helps to be observant of all the learning obstacles that your child is facing and not wait until they’re older for potential intervention.

If you suspect that your child may be struggling with learning difficulties, you can get in touch with us by filling out this contact form. Our representative will get in touch with you soon to make an appointment with you and your child.