Essential Steps to Take When Identifying a Child With Learning Disabilities


It is crucially important to be able to identify when a child has a learning disability to ensure they receive the support and education they require. But how do we identify a learning disability?

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It is tricky, as a learning disability can sometimes be confused with lack of interest in a school subject. How could a teacher or parent tell the difference between a bored child and a disabled child? Luckily, Valerie Houghton Ph.D has revealed a few indicators. She suggests in her online course that parents and teachers can look at the school grades of a child, and if they are failing in a particular subject, that could be an indication of a learning disability in that subject. However, we are then brought back to the question of how does one know if the failing is due to a learning disability or just from lack of interest in the subject?

In order to make it a little easier and less confusing to identify a learning disability in a child, the Professional Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society has made a small checklist of what to look for when identifying and defining a child with learning disabilities.

  • Significant impairment of intellectual functioning

  • Significant impairment of adaptive/social functioning

  • Age of onset before adulthood

All three of these criteria must be met before a person is to be considered as having a learning disability.

Even still, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggest that even if all criteria for one of the disabilities is met by a child, it’s not enough to determine whether or not said child has a learning disability. A professional assessment is required in order to properly diagnose a learning disability.

Once a child has been professionally identified as having a learning disability, making sure they have the right care is essential. Fortunately, there are specially trained nurses who can help with the child’s well-being and social inclusion. According to NHS careers this includes the following:

  • Improving or maintaining their physical and mental health

  • Reducing barriers

  • Supporting the person to pursue a fulfilling life (learn skills to find work)

Learning disability nursing jobs can be at times, as you would imagine, quite stressful – however it is clear that they are hugely rewarding. With the assistance of their nurse, the child is able cope with the disability, maintains their social life and retains their independence and health.

NOTE:  This post is a Partnered Post.

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