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Warning Signs of a Learning Deficiency

Early Warning Signs Of A Learning Deficiency

Recognizing the warning signs of a learning deficiency is the first step to helping a child succeed. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

15% to 20% of Americans are affected by learning disabilities and disorders. As a matter of fact, 5% of children are affected by learning disabilities alone and 4% of children are affected by both learning disabilities and ADHD. Knowing the warning signs and addressing them allows for early intervention. When a child has learning deficiencies that are not addressed they will face many challenges. Learning will be a slow and frustrating process, some will experience attention, memory, reading, writing, comprehension and or self esteem issues that cause them to fall behind in school. Subsequently, this leads to frustration being displayed through anger outburst, rebellion and at times depression. In my experience, this is why it is crucial to identify and address any learning deficiencies that a child may display. The following are some of the most common warning signs of learning deficiencies:

  • Difficulty with reading and/or writing

  • Struggles with comprehension

  • Slow learner

  • Problems with math skills

  • Difficulty retaining and recalling information

  • Has a Hard time staying focused and on task

  • Trouble following directions

  • Inconsistent school performance

  • Difficulty with written instruction

  • Poor spelling

  • Low self esteem

  • Easily distracted

  • Slow work

  • Low test scores

  • Frustration demonstrated by anger outburst and/or meltdowns during homework

It is important to note that According to the National Institute of Health and the Department of Education, 80% of learning deficiencies are due to weak cognitive skills.

Why is that important?

Cognitive skills are the core, underlying skills necessary for learning. These skills include: Attention, Memory, Processing Speed, Auditory and Visual Processing, Logic and Reasoning. When these skills are weak, learning can be slow and challenging. However, when these skills are strong learning is faster and easier.

What can parents do if they see a child displaying warning signs?

In my experience from working with students who have learning deficiencies, the first thing I recommend is taking a cognitive skills assessment. This type of assessment helps identify any underlying weaknesses that the child may be struggling with.

Why start with a cognitive skills assessment?

Since 80% of learning deficiencies are due to weak cognitive skills knowing the state of your child's cognitive skills is key to providing them with the proper assistance. If you feel your child could benefit from a cognitive skills assessment. Call us and schedule an appointment at Zion Brain Training Center (408)356-8907. We provide cognitive skills assessments for students ages 5 years and up. Mention this blog and receive a $50 discount on your assessment.

Cortiella, Candance. “The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues.” Center for Parent Information and Resources,

“What Causes Learning Disabilities?” Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). 1998 and 2002 Writing Assessments.

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