Though they are just as intelligent as their peers, children with learning disabilities have trouble learning in conventional ways. They may have trouble reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia) or solving math problems (dyscalculia). About 15 percent of Americans have a learning disability.
Symptoms and signs of a learning disability vary by age. Younger children may be slow to talk, have trouble learning to count or say the alphabet. As children age, they may not be able to learn new words or math skills like their peers. They may have trouble writing down thoughts, have poor spelling or bad handwriting. Learning disabilities can be hard to identify and need to be diagnosed by professionals.
Interventions can help children cope with learning disabilities and keep up with their peers at school. Specialized learning programs can be tailored to your child’s individual needs, giving him or her the tools he or she needs to learn. Many children with learning disabilities are successful in school and their careers after they receive assistance from child development and educational experts.
Doctors at Riley at IU Health diagnose learning disabilities through a comprehensive evaluation.
During the evaluation, your child's provider will take an extensive developmental history to determine any health problems, what is going on in your child’s life and the history of his or her behavior. Your child's provider will also observe your child and how he or she behaves and interacts during the appointment.
You may be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire or checklist. If needed, your child may be brought back for an appointment to undergo psychological testing, speech testing and/or a medical examination. This testing, often in the form of activities or games, lets your child’s provider identify symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis.
After the evaluation, you will receive a detailed report about your child's specific condition as well as a list of community resources that can help your child. The report allows all caregivers and professionals who care for your child to apply consistent techniques to help him or her improve.
Treatment for a learning disability is individualized to your child and his or her particular set of challenges. Most children will need a specialized learning plan for their education. Parents and healthcare providers can work with the school to provide additional support for the child.
Your child's learning plan may include specialized teaching techniques, use of assistive technology or classroom aides to help with notetaking and other tasks. By following the learning plan, your child has the opportunity to succeed academically.
Visit the resources below to learn more about learning disabilities and find support groups.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
Learning Disabilities Association of American provides information and support for parents of children with learning disabilities, including education on the different types of learning disabilities.
Visit this website to find in-depth information on dyslexia as well as learning resources.
Understood supports parents with children with learning and attention issues through personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community and more.
LD Online provides educators with accurate, authoritative information about learning disabilities to help children reach their full potential.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
Sort through 7 facilities offering Learning Disabilities care by entering your city or zip below.