Children are our future, and for most of us, they are our reason for being. But when your child, starts having difficulties in school, you start to worry. Sometimes you wonder if you did something wrong, and other times you even tend to over react, and run to the doctor. But in many cases, if your child has any kind of continuous difficulties, you as the parent, know it more so, then anyone, because you live with that child every minute of every day.
However, they do claim it to be easier to teach our children almost anything- the younger they are. Children want to interact, and as long as you are paying attention to them, they will do whatever it takes to keep your attention on them, and them alone. Including reciting ABCs, and counting!
But again, every child is different. Just like anyone, and anything- no two are a like in every aspect of the way-no, not even twins.
It is when the phone calls from the Teacher start coming that your child is beating up others for no apparent reason, that you might want to pay attention more closely. Some preschools, and day cares, offer two way mirrors, so you can see in, but your child cannot see out. This is when you need to do your home work.
The reason is say this, is in preschool, day care, and maybe first and second grades-give your child the benefit of the doubt with their learning skills. But if violence becomes an issue, you want to:
one-nip this in the bud, and
two- find out what is making your child act out with said violence.
Sometimes the two go hand in hand. Other children- no matter what age, will pick on others that stutter when they read, or don't even bother to read. If your child isn't learning and isn't seeming to want to learn, and lashes out with violence, then this is where you need to start paying more attention, discreetly of course. However, on the same hand, yes you need to ask your child a few questions. "What is making you so angry?" Yes, it will seem like you are trying to play psychiatrist, but it all starts with you, and your home life. If the fact that your child cannot do something, such as reading or writing, or even math, then there is a possibility the two go hand in hand. And if the other children are in fact, making fun of your child- first thing I advise, is tutoring and working with your child one on one. If you cannot take time from work, School, or whatever it is that you do- you can easily hire someone. (On a more different subject here- please do thorough back ground checks when hiring help for your child.)
Once you or a tutor have started working with your child one on one, and you see, and hear, you will know if you need to advance onto help else where. This will help you as an insider to see if your child might have a learning disorder. If you feel you need advise, or help, you can easily go to the school counselor for help. They have a test, which can be given to your child to see if your child is academically inclined, or challenged.
Before I continue, something helpful I later learned, going through this on my own, was that if the parents one, or both had any kind of learning disability, chances are high that one or more children will have it as well. And no, I am not trying to blame the parents, and try to shift you into a fear scenario. It isn't something to pawn off blame, and regret. This is a normal every day thing, but back when I was a child, I was passed off as a trouble maker, or problem child. No one looked into it any further.
You see, when I was a child in the eighties, A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) and A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) were not known, or made known to the public. And when we would get hyper, or violent, we were severely punished, and reprimanded and nothing was looked into, as I stated above. No one put two and two together, no one cared about your up bringing, and no one thought that your inability to do math, or read so great, was causing you to lash out. Today is much different. And sadly, you hear some people say, yes, and we are using it as a crutch, or excuse. It isn't true, it's just that as we as humans grow and age and educate ourselves, science actually finds out why and puts things into perspective for us.
On a more personal note, my husband is a whiz at math, and has troubles with reading. I on the other hand, am the opposite. I hate and have troubles with math, and love to read and write. We have had five wonderful children, four boys and one girl. Two of our children have S.L.D. known as Slow Learning Disorder. One of these same two, has A.D.D. and the other has A.D.H.D. Now don't get me wrong, we do think that the older two, might have had a few disorders themselves too, but at that point and time, no one did their home work to help, even though I did bring it to the schools attention.
Science is not a miracle solution, and it doesn't always have all of the answers. But it can help guide you, and help you to help yourself and your child.
One thing that you need to do, is research, because there are many kinds of disabilities your children can have. And with each one, there are ways to handle them, and help them. You just need to recognize them. And if you want help, ask your doctor, or health care provider, as well as the School.
Mind you, with the School system- they are not always all willing and ready to jump through hoops for you, this we personally learned the hard way. In Ohio, we brought things to the attention of counselors and teachers.
Doctors were currently concerned and running tests too. But the School was holding us back, and not co-operating, to say the least. Then we moved here to Florida, where everyone warned me sarcastically, "You thought your kids were slow now, moving down South, they're going to be even slower. The Northern Schools are well more advanced. You'll see!" Low and behold, day two of our Children being in the Florida Schools, and Teachers had phoned home requesting conferences. Since we were new to the area, my husband and I both attended, and introduced ourselves. Within minutes, several teachers brought to our attention that our Children needed moved into the "slow" classes, and that they needed help. We didn't tell the School, didn't tell the teachers, the Teachers in two days time, figured it out- on their own. Now tell me, Southern Schools are lousy. This is where I beg to differ!!
That is why I am saying, it takes time to get the help, and recognize your Child's problems. It takes help, encouragement, and love. You will eventually be led to the right person or place.
Now to further help you, I want to help you to recognize the signs, or symptoms. But be forewarned, every Child is different, and the Child may not even show any of these signs or symptoms, and then again, the Child could show several. Here they are:
The Reading Disorder: This is when your Child is learning at a much slower or lower level then his or her age group. Sometimes they will read slowly, and then sometimes they will not even be able to tell you what they just read. You may have heard of dyslexia. Sometimes Children with reading disorders confuse words, or change them into other words, and sometimes even read and see what they want-especially if the book has pictures, they will try to put two and two together, rather then read.
The Mathematics Disorder: Sometimes the Child will be unable to read the numbers, add, subtract, borrow, and divide, and even multiply. Or maybe even; only one thing will be a hang up for them. Sometimes, as with words, they may read the numerals backwards. There are also times, where there are children that will be able to do the math, but not be able to tell you how or what it is that they did.
The Writing Disorder: Sometimes the Child may right off the bat, have very poor writing skills, but not always. Other things include the ability to write a paragraph, sentence or phrase to make it make sense, even when it is being read to them, or on a piece of paper beside them. They will have difficulty learning and understanding a noun from a verb, punctuation and common ways to write what is spoken.
Attention Deficit Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The inability to sit still, or for long periods of time. Also, things such as inattentiveness, and hyperactivity. Children with this, have to learn, usually with the helps of medications, and practice as they grow older, how to help control these disabilities. Adults who have this, and have just learned they have it, most likely had it as a child as well. With this disability, you cannot sit still for long periods of time, go from project to project, and in some cases, lash out on and about things that most of us would not. These disabilities are not one in the same, but close.
The Hyperactivity one, most say is the more worst one to have. But again, this all depends on the individual. You can have a mixture of both of these disabilities, as they do have different types and variations. Your Doctor can further and better explain this to you. Also let it be known, that people with these disorders, commonly have the inability to fall asleep, and then there are rare cases, where some sleep when bored. But for the most part, getting tired and falling asleep, is something commonly found in these characteristics. Also there are rare cases of anger, sometimes even extreme; with these disabilities.
Children with these disabilities, when trying to learn, or even understand- will become frustrated. They may want to try, and more then likely it will seem no matter what, it just doesn't sink in. And yes, making what they have learned stay in their brains, train of thought, is also a disability. Because you see, these disabilities are in the brain, and parts of the brain are obviously not functioning properly.
The easiest ways to distinguish if your Child has a learning disability or disorder is simply by recognizing if they have trouble telling right from left, if they reverse letters and or numbers, and if they are incapable of following directions. Not to mention, the way they read, and write, and interact with others. This is why, in order to be properly diagnosed, you will need to be involved, because you as the parent will be asked questions, which will help the Professional figure out what is wrong. And to you, it may seem of the wall to want to know, "How soon your Child learned to use the bathroom without help, and when their first word was, as well as what it was." The Professional will need your input all the way through, and sometimes even into the pregnancy as well as your own Childhood. So stay focused, and stay involved.
Last but not least, there are treatments for these disorders. These, your Doctor will discuss with you, which one may be better for your Child. And once treatment is being done, you will still need to watch, because not all treatments work the same for everyone. You will need to take notes, and pay close attention. For each disorder, there may be a treatment more relevant. But in order to initiate the proper treatment, your families medical History will need be provided, as well as goals, procedures, and therapies. It will also depend on your Child's age, the specific type of disorder, and the extent of the disorder. When being issued new medications, there are always concerns of allergy, but that isn't all. It may or may not be effective, and it may not do what you had hoped. There is also an adjustment time with these medications. That is why I say to you, to watch, learn and take notes. I also advise researching your Child's disability, along with the medications. Know what it is inside and out.
And yes, in case you are wondering- there are people out there who refuse to put their Children on medication. And there are those who believe you can teach or retrain the mind to settle down, slow down, and calm down. Some people feel the medications for these disabilities, are an upper and/or a downer. Personally, because as I have explained- I have been down this road-I have tried the medications. My Son, became a walking zombie. And the sad part, is the School preferred him like this, so that they could attend to other Children and ignore my Son. By choice, through a long discussion with the Doctor, Counselor (not the School's) and my Spouse, as well as my Son and his siblings, we all felt it best to try an alternative approach. We took my Son off the medications, (which caused us further problems coming off of them.) and taught him, as if like a dog, to calm down, slow down, and sit still by speaking calmly to him. He struggled at first, but later learned on his own, how to calm himself when he was away from us. Yes, there are people with worse situations, a very angry child, a violent one, and what not. It also depends on the time you have on your hands, the willingness to work with your Child, and learning. I spent years learning all I could, that is how I can write this article. From experience first hand! You must always remember, for every ailment, every disability, every flaw in a person, you can adjust, help, and encourage. There are things that can be done- for the most part. You also have to keep the Doctor in the loop, you may find you and your family need counseling to adjust, and you must take notations, and learn along with these disabilities and disorders. As a parent, you are the main teacher, and educator. Don't just give medications and walk away satisfied. Watch, learn and listen. Nothing is perfect, and the cure won't be permanent either. Some prescriptions get recalled, some get adjusted, some don't work, and then they make new ones. And let's not forget, after sometime on one medication, your body can become immune to it. Take every precaution, and always be aware!
And as you are reading this, and if you are wondering if you are to blame, and if there was a way this could be avoided- know this: no one is to blame. But, it is best to have learned and recognized the problems as early as possible.
Children with disabilities can still grow up, become famous, and amount to anything their little heart desires. This is not the end of the World, and in the end, you and your Child- will be grateful you did discover it, because there are places in the World that can help. There are classes in most Schools, to help and give your Child one on one, and most of all- there is you.
Also, before I close. Let it be known, that Adults can also have these disabilities. Not just from Childhood either. However, chances are high that these disabilities, or disorders, which ever phrase you prefer, did in fact come from their Childhood as well.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I wrote this because if I had trouble getting help, and seeing what was wrong- then there are probably others out there too. What I wrote, was from me, and no one else. I wrote from my own knowledge base of what I went through with my Children. Once it was finally discovered, I then learned and educated myself further on the disabilities, and have since helped others to recognize problems and concerns. I am not a medical professional, and never claimed to be one. I am simply experienced at this, as per my article states; seek the help of your health care provider or Counselors, to further assist you on this matter.