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Special Needs

Learning Disabilities

Current research indicates that early appropriate intervention can successfully remediate many disabilities, particularly those related to reading. The following is a list of characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal.


Learning disabilities are related to difficulties in processing information:

  • the reception of information,

  • the integration or organization of that information,

  • the ability to retrieve information from its storage in the brain, and

  • the communication of retrieved information to others.

If a child exhibits several of the following characteristics consider this a red flag:


 Speaks later than most children

 Has pronunciation difficulties

 Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word

 Has difficulty rhyming words

 Has trouble learning colours, shapes, days of the week, numbers and the alphabet

 Fine motor skills are slow to develop

 Is extremely restless and easily distracted

 Has difficulty following directions and/or routines

 Has trouble interacting appropriately with peers

School Age

Learning Disabilities are diagnosed by a psychologist, and generally after the child enters school and is learning to read and write.


The psychologist will assess:

  • auditory and visual perceptual skills (understanding)

  • processing speed

  • organization

  • memory (short and long term storage and retrieval)

  • fine motor skills

  • gross motor skills

  • attention (focus)

  • abstractions (interpreting symbolism)

  • social competence (effective interactions with others)

Having concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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