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How to help a child with learning disability; expert offers tips

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Learning disabilities in children often go undiagnosed as people around them may fail to recognise the signs. Often labelled as lazy or difficult, these children have to struggle with understanding concepts and communicating effectively. Experts say that children with learning disabilities often suffer from self-esteem as they are stigmatized and berated for their poor performance. Dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia are some of the learning disorders because of which children may fail to grasp mathematical concepts or struggle with general comprehension. (Also read: Is your child having a hard time post school reopening? Expert tips on what parents can do)

“Many kids are struggling in school with an undiagnosed disability called learning disorder. Usually, parents tend to ignore or are unaware of the fact that their child is suffering from such a disorder. This can affect a child’s motivation and self-esteem. A learning disorder is a difference that occurs in processing any information that prevents a child from learning a skill and making a use of it. Some common learning disorders affect the ability in reading, verbal and non-verbal skills, writing and grasping skills,” says Dr Amit Gupta, Senior Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.

Dr Gupta says that factors like family genetic history, pre and neonatal risks, physical or psychological trauma, exposure to toxins like lead increase the risk of learning disorder in children.

Can learning disorders be treated?

“Learning disorder is not curable. However, with timely interventions, support and love, children with such disability can succeed in school. It is very important to keep a check and work together with the child’s school teacher and the doctor,” says Dr Gupta.

The paediatrician also offers some tips to help a child with learning disability:

· A reading specialist can help in teaching your child some new techniques to improve his or her academics.

· Many children benefit from therapy. Occupational therapies help in improving motor skills and writing problems. Other therapies like dance, art and music have been helping many kids in such conditions.

· There are many support groups and special educators who help parents to understand the condition better as well as motivating the child to learn new things.

· In some cases, medication is prescribed for kids with anxiety issues or attention deficit or hyper activity problems.

“Setting proper goals and assessing your child for the progress and improvements with select mode of interventions and support will definitely make a much bigger difference in the child’s life,” concludes Dr Amit Gupta.

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