Understanding the different types of learning disorders  – Part 2

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Feb 11, 2021

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ADHD and Autism sometimes occur simultaneously and can be often confused with learning disabilities. However, diagnosing a learning disability is a process. There are certain steps one needs to follow including checking in with your child’s teachers, monitoring behaviour at home and consulting doctors.

According to the Healthguide.org ADHD and Autism are describes as:

  • ADHD – Children with ADHD often have problems sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organised, and completing homework. While this may not be considered a learning disability, it can disrupt learning.
  • Autism – Children with autism spectrum disorders may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact. Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from pervasive developmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

However, parents are urged not to panic the brain can change.

This important discovery which brings new hope for learning disabilities and disorders is called Neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s natural, lifelong ability to change. Neuroplasticity has come with some groundbreaking treatments for learning disabilities which take advantage of the brain’s ability to change.

Some of the treatments focus on children who have difficulty distinguishing between different sounds in a word. The treatment makes the use of a new computer-based learning programme that slows down the sounds so that children can understand them and gradually increase their speed of comprehension.

Below is list of specialists who may be able to test for and diagnose learning disabilities:

  • Clinical psychologists.
  • School psychologists.
  • Child psychiatrists.
  • Educational psychologists.
  • Developmental psychologists.
  • Neuropsychologists.
  • Psychometrists.
  • Occupational therapists (who test for sensory disorders that can lead to learning problems).
  • Speech and language therapists.

Diagnosing a learning disability is a process. Start with your child’s school, and if they are unable to help you, ask your doctor or friends and family who have dealt successfully with learning disabilities. Last, but not least, find a reputable referral.

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