Learning disabilities come in many different forms. Major studies suggest that roughly 5% of children in the United States are affected by learning disabilities and disorders.
Language-based learning disorders (LBLD) refer to a range of complications pertaining to the processing or understanding of spoken and/or written language. These difficulties can be obvious or fairly difficult to identify depending on the child.
So what areas are most commonly affected by language-based learning disorders?
- Reading (decoding, fluency, comprehension)
- Auditory processing (listening)
- Oral expression or word retrieval
- Oral comprehension
- Writing (grammar, spelling, mechanics)
Because people with an LBLD have difficulty with such a wide array of educational processes, progress in the classroom can be difficult without proper interventions. Identifying the type of learning disability your child may have is the first step toward finding the right solution for excelling in the classroom.
Children that are diagnosed with a language-based learning disability are also often diagnosed with dyslexia. This is not to say that all children with an LBLD also have dyslexia, but the two often go hand-in-hand. Dyslexia is described as a difficulty with accurate and/or fluent word recognition — and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
There are many challenges for children that are struggling with language-based learning disabilities. It can be difficult to understand what your child may be struggling with, but getting proper diagnosis and help from a professional is always recommended. Here is are some of the more common complications a child may face when confronting a LBLD.
Dysgraphia affects spelling, punctuation and handwriting competencies
Dyscalculia affects number sense, mathematical reasoning, ability to digest math facts
Language disorders come in two different forms.
- Mixed receptive-expressive language disorders affects one's ability to understand the meaning of what people are saying to them, which in turn can affect their own oral expression.
- Expressive language disorders affects one’s ability to convey ideas, thoughts and feelings orally, but they are able to comprehend verbal language
Cognitive profiles are crucial when understanding a child with an LBLD. These disabilities can be hard to spot because children with an LBLD often have average or above average cognitive abilities. Their verbal comprehension, visual-spatial abilities and problem solving may be intact or slightly affected.
Children with a language-based learning disability may:
- Have a strong a sense of reasoning
- Be geat big picture thinking
- Be amazing problem solvers
- Fluent hands on learners
This can make it difficult to understand why your child may be struggling in certain academic areas. Because children with an LBLD may be able to comprehend and maneuver specific academic environment through their own unique strengths, understanding why they may struggle in certain areas can be exhausting.
How do I know if my child has a language-based learning disability?
Naturally, all children learn and develop at their own pace. Most children struggle in certain areas, or go through lulls from time to time in the classroom. Specific tasks or skills are often learned collectively by the majority of students at certain ages, but difficulties can appear anytime during development.
Remember, children with an LBLD are bright and creative individuals that have developed their own ways to succeed in the classroom. But at some point, these strategies may cease to work. A child may be a prolific speaker and illustrate comprehension about a specific topic quite well. So, a teacher may not be able to understand why their literary skills are falling behind.
Also, many of these bright students will do anything to conceal their difficulties.
Furthermore, children that are having difficulty in the classroom may not fully understand why. This is especially true if they are struggling with symptoms that inhibit their ability to convey what they are going through.
The best way to determine whether or not your child may have a language-based learning disorder is through testing. These tests include either psychoeducational or neuropsychological testing. These tests will help paint a picture of a child’s academic, cognitive and language ability. These results will assist in what subsequent steps can be taken to unlock a child’s full potential.
Language-based learning disabilities cover a wide array of essential aspects of academic achievement. Therefore, a diagnosis and proactive approach to alternative learning practices for these children that are affected is necessary for success in the classroom.