- Family history of learning disabilities;
- Parental pre-natal risk factors
- Substance abuse;
- Poor prenatal medical care and nutrition;
- Prenatal brain injury or delivery complications;
- Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead or toxic mold;
- Developmental differences and delays;
- Poverty; and
- Abuse and neglect.
2. Observe Your Child's Early Development for Signs of Learning DisabilitiesDevelopmental Delays in any of the following can suggest the potential for learning disabilities:
- Gross Motor - Large muscle movements such as standing, walking, or pulling up;
- Fine Motor - Small muscle movements such as grasping objects, moving fingers and toes;
- Communication and Early Language- Ability to understand words or to use speech;
- Cognitive Skills - Ability to think and solve problems; and
- Social/Emotional - Ability to interact appropriately with others and show appropriate emotional responses.
Generally, by about 12 months, your child should be able to stand and possibly take a few steps without support. He may show preferences for people and favorite toy and show anxiety with his parents leave. He will feed himself finger foods. He says ma-ma and da-da and understands "no," and possibly other familiar words for common objects and people. He gestures for attention.
4. Get Infant and Childhood Checkups On TimeYour pediatrician examine will examine your baby at birth to check vital signs and your child's response to various stimuli. During regular checkups, the doctor will check for normal development. Keep notes to share your concerns. If there is evidence of a problem, referrals will be made at that time to early intervention specialists for evaluation and treatment if necessary. Young children can also benefit from early vision exams.
6. Watch for Delays in Reading, Language, and MathChildren continue to develop at different rates in primary school years. By the third year, children should be able to read simple chapter books at grade level, write simple sentences, add, subtract, and begin to multiply. Students may not perform these tasks with complete accuracy. It is normal for some letter reversals and mirror writing to appear in their work. Most students will learn to correct these errors with instruction. A small percentage of children will continue to have difficulty and will develop learning disabilities.
7. Third Grade is a Critical Year for Identifying DisabilitiesBy third grade, suspect a problem when your child:
- Does not connect letters and sounds;
- Cannot read grade-level text;
- Cannot understand what he reads;
- Cannot understanding number concepts;
- Cannot form letters or remember which letters stand for which sounds;
- Has difficulty following directions, even with help;
- Has poor memory;
- Cannot repeat information or copy items;
- Has difficulty following lines when cutting; and
- Has difficulty with attention or behavior.