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When children experience learning difﬁculties in school, it can set the stage for life-long difficulties. Learning issues in school can affect self-esteem and expectations for performance, choices in friends, motivation for college, and choice of career. These early learning years are critical, not only for skill building, but for life. Significant and severe school challenges that continue year after year can shape a child’s identity, and then an adult’s identity, throughout the life span. An appropriate evaluation of abilities is the first step (see Neuropsychological Evaluation), in identifying skills and challenges and can provide the foundation for an accurate diagnosis. More importantly, it provides useful recommendations for assistance in development. The treatment can help parents, educators, as well as other health care providers, and can change the course for a child’s experience in the classroom and beyond.
TAKE THE TEST OF COMMON PARENT STATEMENTS. DOES YOUR CHILD FIT IN TO ANY OF THESE?
Does your child have difficulty completing homework and is still up at 10 or 12pm (and by the way so are you)?
Does your child forget to hand in the homework even though it is somewhere in the abyss of the backpack? Are you fearful to stick your hand in the backpack because who knows what is living in there?
Does your child procrastinate until the last second and you find yourself totally frustrated, annoyed, and turning into a parent you don’t like?
Are you pulling your hair out and find that your best efforts are not effective in assisting your child?
Does your child know more about the subject material than test scores reflect despite hearing “but I studied all night!”?
Are projects a source of stress in your family because there are more parts to the task than your child can manage or remembers to tell you and were you up all night last night while your child slept soundly?
Is your child constantly losing things or can’t keep track of multiple steps for completing a task and are you often tripping over his or her things in the hallway even though you have told them to clean it up 1000’s of times?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions your child may benefit from an evaluation to determine the culprit causing the conflict. This could include poor skills in attention, executive functions, language and memory. Individual treatment could assist him or her in acquiring the necessary skills to work independently and productively. Specific treatment methods have been designed to remediate the underlying cognitive weaknesses and to teach your child specific strategies to improve his or her skills in a variety of areas.
Treatment for Learning Disabilities
Individual remediation can improve problems related to attention and management of information like planning and organization, time management, and complex problem solving. For success in visual tasks like science or geometry, problems with visual perception, visual spatial organization and construction can be addressed. Abstract reasoning, reading, writing, expressive and receptive language and mathematics are also areas of skill necessary for academic success, which can be strengthened. In individual sessions, a structured, step by step approach using the visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses is employed through the use of the individual’s current school assignments, when possible, paper and pencil tasks, manipulatives, movement, audio tapes and computers.