Detecting Learning Difficulties

Although many of the following conditions are often true of those without learning difficulties, a pronounced difficulty in one or more of these areas may indicate that a physician should diagnose the problem.

Symptoms in preschoolers

By age 1, the child cannot do one or more of the following:

  • say "Mama"
  • play peek-a-boo
  • wave bye-bye
  • respond to his name
  • sit up on his own

By age 2, he does not:

  • say the names of a few toys
  • imitate parents
  • seem capable of identifying eyes, ears, nose and mouth
  • walk unaided

By age 3, he does not:

  • repeat simple rhymes
  • enjoy playing alone with toys
  • understand simple stories
  • navigate stairs

By age 4, he does not:

  • talk in short sentences
  • enjoy playing with other children
  • give correct answers to simple questions
  • balance on one foot

By age 5, he is not:

  • understood outside the family
  • sharing or taking turns
  • understanding the words "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow"
  • capable of throwing overhand
  • catching a ball

Symptoms in youngsters and adults

  • He has difficulty understanding spoken directions.
  • He has trouble pronouncing a word until someone says it for him.
  • He tries to treat people well, but often says something inappropriate.
  • He has difficulty following written instructions.
  • In writing, he leaves out or reverses words or letters.
  • He knows his way around town until a street is torn up or a building is removed.
  • He usually mismatches clothes.
  • He is disorganized and can't find belongings.
  • He reads and writes well, but can't balance a checkbook.
  • He is clumsy.
  • He has poor coordination in writing or drawing.
  • He is easily annoyed.
  • He tends to act impulsively.
  • He is either extremely over- or under-active.
  • He has a short attention span.

Background Information

Journey of No Return
Sometimes as parents, we have a knee-jerk response to our kids as we're barraged by their numerous inquires and desires. Maybe it's time to stop being so negative.

When Not To Discipline
Parents should recognize when they should and shouldn't discipline their children.

When You Feel Like Calling in the SWAT Team
Are your children constantly testing you? This classic parenting advice will help you regain the upper hand.

Questions and Answers

After I spank my child, she usually wants to hug me and make up, but I continue to be cool to her for a few hours. Do you think that is right?

We'd like to be more unified in our approach, but how do we successfully move from two financial approaches to one?

How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished? Is there a limit?

I have never spanked my 3-year-old because I am afraid it will teach her to hit others and be a violent person. Do you think I am wrong?

It just seems barbaric to cause pain to a defenseless child. Is it healthy to spank him or her?

Review Frequently Asked Questions


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Other Things to Consider

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TransitionsHaving a Baby, Preparing for Adolescence

Life PressuresWorking Moms, Stay-At-Home Moms, Time for Family

RelationshipsParents and Adult Children, Blended Families