- Out of all of the learning disabilities, the most frequently occurring are language processing difficulties. Language processing difficulties involve:
- - how a person hears what is being said to them,
- - if they remember what they heard and
- - whether or not they can communicate clearly in return.
These are essential aspects of language. Impairments in any of these areas negatively impact a child's learning capabilities not to mention their social development and can wreak havoc on their life.
One thing working on behalf of children suffering from this disability is that early intervention is more likely as their problems begin with the spoken word. Kids with language deficits may be slow to speak, use shorter sentences, have smaller vocabularies, and employ poor grammar. They may stare at an adult who is speaking to them not out of defiance but because they truly do not understand what is being said. Some children will adapt by learning to read facial expressions, study body language or watch the person's lips.
Still more challenges, these children fight hard to follow directions accurately and will almost always fail when multiple directives are lumped together. Telling a child with language processing issues please feed the dog is more effective than telling him bring in the groceries, feed the dog, then make your bed, then set the table.
When attempting to communicate, these young people may talk in mixed up ways calling an elephant a "efelent." Often family members encourage a child to repeat words that sound funny for entertainment purposes. At the very least, this creates confusion for the child not to mention embarrassment later on once they enter school and receive a reprimand for saying the exact same thing that was considered adorable at home only weeks earlier.
In mispronouncing a word, the child'¢s brain struggles to place the sounds it hears in proper order and as you may have witnessed, makes a mess of it, much to the dismay of the child. Early on, some children are not aware and may utter sentences such as "My dog needs to visit the vegetarian". They may also not be aware of grammatical mistakes and miss the distinction between turning the block and blocking the turn.
- Due to research and education, we know so much more about learning disabilities today. This means a child can have a gifted IQ but he or she may also have a learning disability which means learning how they learn best, will be of the utmost importance for them to succeed in their education and social environment. The future can be as bright for children with learning disabilities as it is for children without these deficits as long as they get the proper diagnosis and intervention they need to effectively learn how to learn. One way to do that is to gain the clearest picture possible of the particular deficit your child may have. Here are some additional characteristics you might see if your child is struggling with Language Processing Disabilities or Dyslexia:
- - Difficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings.
- - Combinations of words can sometimes confuse them.
- - Using inappropriate words when writing.
- - Having a small vocabulary.
- - Taking significant amounts of time to find and arrange a coherent reply.
- - Poor memory.
- - Lack of organization.
- - They do better with a few people and have a harder time following what is going on as the number of people in a group increases.
- - Due to fear of speaking incorrectly, some kids become withdrawn and shy.
- - Due to fear of speaking incorrectly, some kids become a bully out of their inability to understand the social cues in their environment.
- - Some students use words correctly but cannot recall it when the time comes. When shown a picture of a flower they can'¢t say flower but when asked to point at a flower in a picture they will point to the flower without delay.
- - Garbles telephone messages.
- - Slow response in math drills and difficulty with word problems.
As with all learning disabilities, early recognition and intervention is the key. In some cases, language deficits are severe enough that young people will progress only so far. Consequently, they are never quite able to read at the level of their peers but this does not mean they can'¢t reach their goals and become wildly successful. There are many examples of people who were "Virtual non readers" that went on to complete college with appropriate assistance, and accomplished tremendous things in the process, then went even further and operated successful businesses of all types. A learning disability may be a challenge, but in no way should it be a road block and it can even be a launching pad if you let it.