There are a number of children who struggle to acquire academic skills. For them, school is the hardest thing they have to do every day. These kids may have a difficult time grasping the basic rules of reading, have no concept of number sense, and continue to write letters backward despite being reminded, and shown, numerous times. According to the American Psychiatric Association it is estimated that 5-15% of school-age children have a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD). Here are 5 things you may not know about Specific Learning Disorders.
1. An SLD (commonly referred to as a Learning Disability), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects our brains ability to understand information efficiently and accurately.
2. It affects three specific areas: reading, writing and mathematics; which can also affect other academic subjects such as history, social studies, our ability to learn another language, and even affect how we learn to play a musical instrument.
3. SLD’s make it difficult for us to understand the information we are given (input) and can complicate how we are able to show what we have learned (output).
4. Individuals with SLD’s can be successful! The trick is to find out the unique way they learn (i.e. a visual learner) and how we can support the output of their skills (i.e. voice-to-text software).
5. Individuals with SLD’s are not lazy; these individuals actually have to work harder in their classes and despite their effects, their assignments may still not be reflective of their cognitive abilities.
With support, motivation, and perseverance those that have SLD’s can be successful with anything they set their mind to! Even some of the most famous celebrities had to overcome their own struggles. Did you know Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean), Steven Spielberg (E.T.), and Jay Leno (TV Host) have all struggled with SLD’s? Their hard work has certainly paid off!
“If you think you’re the smartest person in the room and you think you’re going to have to work a little harder, and put a little more time into it to get what everybody else does, you can actually do quite well.” Jay Leno
WRITTEN BY ASHLEY CARLSON, PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST WITH WILDFLOWERS