Learning differences are not a lack of intelligence or effort; individuals with learning differences are often very bright and creative.  Some may excel in math, but struggle with reading or comprehension. Often there seems to be a disconnect between ability and academic achievement in one or more areas.  Below are signs of a learning difference categorized by academic area. If you recognize these signs in your child, it may be time to get a psychoeducational evaluation and receive individual, targeted strategies and accommodations that will enable them to thrive in school.

Signs of Dyslexia or a Reading Difference

  • Pretends to be reading a book by making up the story based on the pictures
  • Trouble rhyming words
  • Trouble blending sounds into words fluently
  • Mispronounces words with similar sounds and letters
  • Leaves out small words or word ending when reading
  • Substitutes words when reading that look similar or have the same meaning
  • Dislikes and/or avoids reading
  • Poor spelling
  • Must read the text several times to understand
  • Takes longer than typical to complete reading assignments

Signs of Written Expression Disorder

  • Writes simple sentences
  • When asked to write doesn’t know where to start
  • Can express ideas verbally, but not on paper
  • Has difficulty organizing the content
  • Writing often “rambles” and gets off-topic
  • Uses simple vocabulary
  • Makes frequent grammar and punctuation errors
  • The story doesn’t follow a logical sequence

Common signs of Dysgraphia

  • Trouble forming letters
  • Mixing upper- and lower-case letters
  • Spacing lines between letters and words
  • Word float above the lines on the paper
  • Sentences run off the sides of the paper
  • Difficulty coping
  • Difficulty taking notes in class
  • Poor spelling

Common Signs of Dyscalculia or Math Difference

  • Connecting written numbers with groups of objects of the same number 3 = ooo
  • Accurately counting objects one by one
  • Understanding concepts such as greater than and less than
  • Recognizing number patterns
  • Recalling math facts
  • Understanding the language associated with math
  • Estimating time and money