Difficulties at school? What helps against learning disorders

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Difficulties at school? What helps against learning disorders

School problems can have many causes. Since each person learns in his or her own individual way, learning disorders are difficult to identify. Children and adults have their personal strengths, but also weaknesses.

A learning disorder has nothing to do with stupidity. The affected schoolchildren are just as smart as other children. 

But learning is difficult for them. Writing without errors, quick and correct mental arithmetic: What does it depend on? Which measures specifically help against the Learning Difficulties? In this article you will learn more about learning disorders.

What are learning disorders?

According to psychological definition learning disorder is a developmental disorder. It is responsible for children falling behind their peers. Because they have learning difficulties, they do not progress in school.

There are different types of learning disorders. Particularly common are Dyscalculia and dyslexia. The affected children are intelligent, but they cannot keep up with the normal pace of learning. That's why they need targeted help - which in turn requires an accurate diagnosis.

Almost every school child has bad phases. Over- or underchallenge, sheer laziness, problems with a teacher - the reasons are very different. If the problems persist for a long time, you should do something. Otherwise, the situation will get worse. Frustration, Mobbing and behavioral difficulties can result.

Differentiation of learning disorder and learning disability

In learning disorders such as dyscalculia or dysgraphia, the problem focuses on a narrowly defined area of learning. In contrast, the Learning Disability over a wide range. Due to a learning disorder, children may have an increased Fear develop. This has a negative effect on the ability to learn and possibly solidifies into a learning disability. So they are two different things, because the learning disability is a further development of the learning disorder.

Both learning disabilities can have cross-curricular consequences. Learning disabilities are the beginning. They can continuous failures and weaken the children's self-confidence. Without support, the reading or math disability can develop into a learning disability. In this way, the learning disorder becomes entrenched and affects the educational and also the professional future of the affected children.

learning disorder definition

What are the types of learning disorders?

Common learning disorders in the school day include specific learning disorders such as.

  • Dyslexia (reading disability),
  • Dysorthography (Spelling Disability),
  • Dyslexia (reading and writing disability),
  • Dysgraphia (writing weakness),
  • Dyscalculia (arithmetic impairment).

Rare types of learning disabilities may also occur, such as dyspraxia (difficulty moving) or nonverbal learning disorder (lack of understanding of body language). Often, one learning disability is compounded by another. This is seen in combined learning disorders such as dyslexia.

Extensive testing takes place to identify learning disabilities. These are often related to school recommendations, learning opportunities and targeted support.

Sometimes additional problems make learning more difficult. Children with ADD or ADHD can only concentrate for a short time. In addition, other difficulties arise in everyday school life:

  • Language problems,
  • Difficulties in understanding,
  • limited fine motor skills,
  • undetected defective vision,
  • poor memory.

Some learning disorders are specific, while others relate to multiple areas. In the case of school problems, parents hope that it is a temporary Learning Disability is involved. This is the case, for example, with motor restlessness or late development. But with performance anxiety or a learning disability, it is mostly a general, long-term problem.

Learning disorders in adults

Dyslexia and dyscalculia are partial performance disorders that persist into adulthood. If you couldn't do math properly at school, you developed your own strategy over time. You avoid situations in which you have to calculate quickly in your head. You look for a job where you have little to do with numbers.

Here you can see how learning disorders determine your everyday life. If you have trouble with reading and spelling, you probably won't start a challenging course of study. But you have the opportunity to get ahead even with a learning disability. Early support at school helps you to overcome the learning disorder or to live with it. This opens up much better career opportunities for you.

Learning disorders - 4 examples

In elementary school, the schoolchild still has a lot of fun and learns eagerly, but he or she simply does not understand the simple basic arithmetic operations. This is an indication of a partial performance disorder.

Another child has no problems with arithmetic, but in the fourth grade his performance declines. This is obviously a temporary learning disability. A little Tutoring or another teacher can provide a positive impulse, and everything runs smoothly again.

The third child is weaker in all subjects. Perhaps it is a late developer: Here a repetition is recommended.

Yet another schoolchild just looks bored out the window. The parents and teachers are unsure: Is there a learning disability here? Then a special school might be a better place for the child. Child. It is also possible that the child is highly gifted.

A special case: giftedness

Highly gifted children are not necessarily recognizable as such. With their above-average abilities, they quickly become bored, because the normal learning material underchallenges them. The report card can be correspondingly bad. In some cases, these children become class clowns because no one can understand their Potential recognizes.

Giftedness is neither a learning disorder nor a disease. But it does need targeted support. Sometimes it helps if the child skips a grade. In other cases, highly intelligent children take part in special courses to train their skills. For comprehensive advice and support, there are appropriate contact points and a wide range of services.

diagnosis learning disorder

What are the causes of learning disorders?

Despite extensive research, the causes of learning disorders have not been clarified in detail. Experts suspect that disturbed processes in brain development are the triggers. The processing of language or numbers obviously does not function properly. As a result, children cannot learn the basic skills for writing, language and arithmetic.

Often, the first weaknesses become apparent at preschool age. Before reading comes the ability to recognize individual sounds and syllables. A child who cannot correctly link sounds and letters will logically have difficulty reading and writing later.

Normally, there is no disease when children develop a learning disorder. But factors such as the social environment influence learning ability. Whether it is too much pressure of expectations or neglect: Children are sensitive to their immediate environment. Especially Fear of failure may exacerbate learning disabilities.

The behavior of teachers and classmates also has an impact on the joy of learning and thus on the ability to learn. Children who feel unwell or anxious lack the concentration needed to learn. In addition, there may be psychological and biological factors that influence the learning disorder.

Sometimes an illness triggers the supposed learning disorder, for example Asperger's syndrome. In this case, individual therapy is necessary to train the ability to learn and to interact with other people. After successful treatment, the children find it easier to integrate socially - into everyday school life and also into their later jobs.

How do you recognize a learning disorder?

Did you do well in school before? What about your children? Most learning disorders show up during the school years. The affected children have difficulty internalizing the learning material. Typical symptoms of learning disorders are:

  1. Lack of concentration,
  2. Forgetfulness,
  3. Boredom,
  4. declining performance,
  5. Stress with classmates and teachers.

What was it like for you in the past? Didn't you wish that someone would listen to you? Were you really that bad at math or did you just not want to be bullied?

In some cases, the fault may lie with the educators. You can find out by talking to the teachers responsible. Even if you suspect that your child has learning difficulties, you should talk to the teachers. Targeted courses or, if necessary, psychological counseling will help you and your child move forward.

For the Diagnosis of a learning disorder a detailed learning and performance diagnosis is available. Educational psychologists use an international classification system, the ICD-10, according to which it is possible to give a specific name to the problem. In addition, there is a medical and psychological clarification: Are there possibly problems with the visual and auditory performance?

These test procedures are available:

  1. the "Bielefeld Screening" for preschool children and
  2. "BAKO 1-4" for elementary school children.

For the correct execution of the Tests trained educational psychologists or school psychologists are responsible. With an early diagnosis, you can positively influence the situation. Although disorders in the brain are responsible for learning disorders, improvement is possible. The earlier you start training, the more you can achieve.

How to treat learning disorders?

Learning should be fun - especially for younger children, this is an important factor. Too much pressure to perform generates negative feelings. It is better to support the schoolchild in a relaxed way. If learning difficulties arise, you can seek advice from your pediatrician, for example. He or she is familiar with the possible treatment methods.

Direct prevention is not possible. However, learning deficits can be reduced with regular learning training, especially when it comes to temporary learning disorders. Permanent learning disabilities, on the other hand, need more thorough therapy. Depending on the school problem, you can turn to psychologists or speech therapists.

A good understanding of language and elementary arithmetic skills are indispensable for a good education and professional development. You should always be aware of this - for yourself and also for your children.

Help for children with learning disorder

Those who do not succeed in learning feel incapable and weak. That is why children with learning disorders need sufficient support and a strong self-awareness. It is not easy to find the right balance here: On the one hand you want to help, on the other hand you want your child to believe in himself.

Social factors influence learning behavior. Bullying, excessive pressure to perform and stress in the family often exacerbate the problems. Individual therapy helps to overcome the difficult phase. Such therapy requires Patience and time.

Children with a congenital learning disorder have a hard time in a regular school. A special school or inclusion class may be a better place for them. Every school child has his or her own way of learning, and learning disabilities are also very different. That is why every affected child needs an individual solution.

We offer support to help you better manage your child's learning disabilities. In our free e-book you'll learn how your child can successfully navigate the school years with less learning and more enjoyment. The learning expert Markus Hofmann shows you 10 tried and tested tips to help you support your child in learning in the best possible way. 


The 10 best tips for 
Fun and success in learning

In our free e-book you get 10 tried and tested tipsthat will help you to support your child in learning in the best possible way.
Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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