When a Kindergartener or first grader is having difficulty putting words together from a book but is otherwise performing at age and grade level in other functions like dressing, toileting and self-feeding, learning disorder is often suspected.
There are however a handful of medical conditions that could mimic a learning disorder and if picked up early, could be treated and spare a child from being mislabeled. Medical conditions you might want your child evaluated for include:
Literarily means poor vision. A child with an impaired vision is often unaware of his or her visual limitations. If she can't see the letters or the word, she would not be able to read.
Same reasoning here. Hearing impaired kids are often misidentified as slow learners. Vision and hearing tests are routinely performed during preschool and grade level physicals with the pediatrician.
This is actually a learning disorder where the brain misinterprets certain letters or words. A child might not be able to tell the difference between the letter “b” and the letter “d” for instance.
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder):
Unlike its better known and more disruptive cousin, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), kids with ADD are calm and not jumping off the wall. They however have limitations with attention and staying focused, their mind often wonder and they have difficulty completing tasks.
A particular seizure disorder called “Petite Mal” or Absence Seizure could bring about a delay in learning and reading. An affected child has frequent small seizures where there is no jerking but stares blank in space often missing a sizable amount of time in small chunks at a time.
Treatment is available for all the aforementioned medical conditions and results are often dramatic. Corrective lenses for refractive errors, hearing aids for hearing impairments, stimulants for ADD and anti-seizure medications for Petite Mal. Behavioral therapy may be of help with dyslexia. Be certain to bring up your concerns with your child's doctor.
Bola Ajumobi is the founder of SlimyBookworm.com, “The Destination for Books Kids Love!” She is a mom of 2 and has a background in healthcare. She is happiest playing with the boys or curled up in a good book.