I sat on the ground with all the other Architecture students, trying to sketch a perspective. I’d never drawn, before. It was awful. I could see the vista before me, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t translate the vision to the page. The left and right sides of my brain were completely at odds with one another. I finally broke down and sobbed. I wanted to do it. I really, really wanted to be able to do this thing that everyone else around me could do with ease. My brain just couldn’t get it to work.
If you’ve never experienced something like that, you might not understand learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and sensory integration dysfunction that might prevent a child from comprehending language, even though both hearing and vision are fine. But just think of the frustration factor! A child with a learning disability isn’t unintelligent: his or her brain is just wired differently. If your child is sullen, resists or avoids school work, or if you hear the complaint, “your child is so bright, but doesn’t apply him(her)self…” then perhaps there’s something deeper than a rebellious nature or a lazy child.
According to HelpGuide, ” All of the following are necessary symptoms of an official learning disability:
• average or above average intelligence (as measured by the IQ score)
• significant delay in academic achievement
• severe information processing deficits
• uneven pattern of cognitive development throughout life
• a disparity between measured intellectual potential (IQ score) and actual academic achievement
• the learning disability persists despite instruction in standard classroom situations “
Testing is available if your child is in public schools, though if you can afford it, you might want to follow up with private testing. Determine which, if any, difficulties your child is facing, and face the challenge head on, as a team. Reassure your child that this is an obstacle, not a roadblock, to his or her learning. There are ways around most of these problems, and with the right therapy and loving support, your child can overcome his or her difficulty and succeed.
Remember, Albert Einstein didn’t seem like a genius when he was a kid!
Photo cred: Broken Pencil by e-magic on flickr