How to Recognize Learning Disabilities

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, around 5-9% of the general population has a learning disability. Teachers are often the first to notice that a student might have a learning disability. 

Sometimes the signs are easy to notice like a student who is not making progress in reading or a student who, despite their effort, is unable to master the multiplication table. Other times, the signs are not always so clear and creep up as instruction increases in difficulty over many years of schooling. 

Building a solid foundation for your child and ensuring they have mastered critical material from prior years is key for long-term academic success. Jump Start helps  students who have learning disabilities by assessing their strengths and weaknesses, learning style and getting a holistic view of their needs. We provide a distraction-free environment to help students focus on success while providing test taking strategies necessary to combat challenges based on learning disabilities. 

Jump Start provides free in-home and online consultations to customize your child’s plan ensuring maximum success in the comfort of your own home.

By meeting with students in person or one-on-one online, we increase their responsiveness and maximize their ability to concentrate and learn.

A learning disability is simply a slightly different ‘wiring’ of the brain. We believe that academic success for students with learning disabilities is attainable with the right support and planning.  Jump Start ensures that each student has the individualized help they need to succeed. As such, our students are more likely to thrive in school.

Jump Start also understands that students with learning disabilities experience stress and anxiety about their condition. Here are some tips for recognizing learning disabilities in a student:

  • Not living up to their potential:

If a teacher notices that a student who has the capacity to succeed, but they aren’t, either in one specific subject or in their overall school performance, this could be a sign that they have a learning disorder. This is usually described as a variation between ability and aptitude, (a gap between what it seems a student should be able to do and what they are actually able to do). 

Some examples of how this gap might appear in the classroom include: 

  • A student who writes fantastic essays but has a lot of difficulty getting through basic math assignments, or the other way around.
  • A student who is great at answering questions in class but cannot get the correct answer down on paper. 
  • A student whose intelligence is obvious in person, but is not reflected on their report card.
  • Not trying hard enough: 

Students who are not doing as well in school as expected may appear to be lazy or just not applying themselves, when in fact they may be struggling with a learning disability. 

Adults with learning disabilities may remember being told repeatedly, before they were diagnosed, that they were not trying hard enough. Students who look like they are not trying may actually be trying very hard, but failing, or trying to hide their shortcomings.

  • Off track 

If a student constantly has to be reminded what to do next, others might think they are not paying attention, however it could be a sign that they are having difficulty with what is called “working memory.” Working memory can be defined as holding onto, processing and building on new information. This is a common issue for students with learning disabilities. Other signs to watch for include: 

  • Difficulty following directions – especially if the student is hearing the information for the first time or there are several steps to remember 
  • Daydreaming 
  • Difficulty copying off the board 
  • Trouble remembering assignments and doing them correctly
  • Hiding out 

Students with learning disabilities often try to hide their struggles from teachers and classmates. Even if students are managing to keep up with school work with extra effort, it may be taking a bigger toll on their self- esteem. If a student can be described as being very shy during class or hanging back during group projects, sitting in the back row, or doing everything in their power to avoid being called on during class, they may be trying to hide a learning issue.

  • Misbehaving

Hiding is not only performed through one specific action. Students who are hiding their learning disability may demonstrate this in different ways. Whereas some students try hiding, hoping to go unnoticed, other students can act out, drawing attention away from issues by becoming the class clown, being defiant, or pretending not to care how they are doing in their academics.

  • Missing assignments

Students with learning disabilities often struggle to submit homework on time or at all. For instance, a student may feel embarrassed to hand in work that they know is incorrect or unfinished. Students who struggle with memory and organization could have simply forgotten there was an assignment due at all. Even when assignments do get done, it still has to be submitted in time. Every student is bound to miss an assignment once in a while, however if a student routinely forgets to turn in their homework it is time to take action to prevent it from happening again. 

  • Timing issues 

Students with learning disabilities often struggle with time management, transitions and organization. These timing issues can cause problems both in school and at home. Signs to watch for include: 

  • A student who always seems to take too long to complete tasks, from assignments – to packing up their bookbag.
  •  When students report to their parents that it takes them hours to get through their homework at night. 
  • A student who is obsessively late to school or always seems to be rushing from one class to another.
  • Test Stress 

Most students will have test anxiety every now and then, but if a student seems to have more trouble than expected it can be a sign that they have a learning disability. Some things to watch for include: 

  • A student who always ends up rushing to finish a test on time or commonly exceeds the time limit, regardless of reminders. 
  • A student who is always the last one still working on a timed assignment. 
  • Very messy handwriting. 
  • Serious pre-test anxiety. 
  • A student who fails numerous tests despite studying.
  • Sensitivity 

School can be emotional for students with learning disabilities. From struggling to keep up with classmates to falling behind on schoolwork, the opportunities to feel bad about themselves can be overwhelming. Students with learning disabilities often struggle with feelings of shame, embarrassment, and low-self esteem. If a student seems to be down on themself, depressed, or frustrated with school, an undiagnosed learning disability could be the cause. Students with learning disabilities can also develop serious school related anxiety, especially before they are diagnosed. Additionally, students with learning disabilities often struggle with self-regulation, meaning they can lack the tools to manage and process emotions and can be sensitive.

To summarize, helping students with learning disabilities get the attention and support they need to do better and feel better will benefit them both in school and out for years to come. 

Jump Start is committed to finding trending topics and offering you free and effective educational resources. Resources are always a great tool for supplementation and for enhancing your child’s learning strategy. 

However, students with learning disabilities may have more challenges as they prepare for college entrance and test preparation. As such, this may be an especially daunting and stressful time in  their educational career. 

Building important study strategies and organizational skills play a key role in determining  grades, and subsequently affecting student’s performance and placement in more advanced classes.

We understand the unique challenges students face when they have a learning disability. That is why all of our tutors are top-tier college level graduates who score in the top 5% for every subject they tutor, so our students can be confident taking advice from them.

With Jump Start’s tutoring services, finding a friendly and helpful tutor that will work with students one-on-one with a customized approach is easy!

Choosing our tutoring services provides students with a blueprint customized to ensure their maximum success. Our tutors will provide tips and motivation to help students with learning disabilities improve and work on their academic habits.

 Students can also expect an academic edge by receiving help navigating their courses with a hands-on learning experience in-home or online; as they discover their learning style and prepare for exams in core reading, writing, math, science, history, test prep, study skills and much more! 

We focus on creating a plan for students in K-12 and  college to receive the necessary accommodations to score at the top. Additionally, our high school and college students struggling with learning disabilities benefit from our educational consulting services helping them develop key vocational skills and internships that will help them prepare for a prosperous future outside of the classroom. Our consulting services also include suggestions on class schedule, scholarships and college entrance. 

Choosing our online tutoring services includes interactive whiteboards, screen sharing, document sharing and video tools to make online test prep more personalized and fun.

Give your child the gift of education by signing up for our  in home or online tutoring services today! 

Check out our newly designed website to learn more about our private tutoring programs and call Jump Start for a FREE consultation: 

(954) 440-5787

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