Paediatricians have a huge role in identifying children who are at-risk of learning difficulties or developmental delays, and to set families in the right direction to have necessary supports in place. Early detection leads to early intervention which is crucial.
Doctors, teachers and professionals must be on alert when parents approach them with concerns, particularly about their child’s struggles at school. “Wait and see” or “every child develops differently” are NOT options. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of learning difficulties amongst young children.
Read Kathryn Burke’s article for guiding questions for parents and children as well as early signs and symptoms of learning disabilities.
Common signs of learning difficulties that may warrant an Occupational Therapy evaluation include:
• Difficulty learning to read or write
• Poor pencil grasp or tires with handwriting
• Completes school work only with great effort
• Dislikes school
• Clumsy, accident-prone, gets lost easily
• Decreased gross or fine motor coordination
• Difficulty with new skills, sports, games
• Poor posture, slumps forward
• Easily distracted
Early school years are critical for creating a foundation for future learning. If a child struggles at school, let’s identify the problems NOW and refer these children on for the right support.