If your child is struggling with attention, reading, math, writing or coordination, it could be due to a learning or attention issue. Here’s a quick overview of five common learning and attention issues.
1. Dysgraphia: Trouble With Writing
Dysgraphia affects writing skills. Kids with dysgraphia may have messy handwriting and may struggle to hold a pencil, draw or form letters. But this learning issue can affect a wide range of writing challenges. Kids with dysgraphia may also struggle to organize their thoughts and express them using proper sentence structure.
Dysgraphia isn’t related to how intelligent a child is. It’s a brain-based issue that can affect kids’ ability to put thoughts down on paper. See the steps to take if you’re concerned your child might have dysgraphia.
2. Dyspraxia: Trouble With Motor Skills
Dyspraxia causes trouble with planning and coordinating physical movement. It can affect things like fine motor skills (using the small muscles in the hands and forearms), gross motor skills (using the large muscles in the arms, legs and torso), balance, coordination and movement involved with speaking.
Dyspraxia isn’t a sign of muscle weakness or of low intelligence. It’s also more common than you may think. As many as 10 percent of kids may have some symptoms of dyspraxia, such as trouble with grasping a pencil or working buttons and snaps, or struggling with games that require hand-eye coordination. Learn what to do if you think your child might have dyspraxia.
3. Dyscalculia: Trouble With Math
Dyscalculia is sometimes called “mathematics learning disability.” You may even hear it referred to as “math dyslexia.” Dyscalculia causes ongoing trouble understanding and working with numbers and math concepts. But dyscalculia can be missed in the early years because kids learn many basic math skills through memorization.
Although many kids (and adults) have anxiety about math, dyscalculia is not the same thing as math anxiety. Researchers know less about dyscalculia than they do about other learning issues. But they’re looking more at the causes of dyscalculia and ways to help. Find out what to do if you’re concerned your child might have dyscalculia.
4. ADHD: Trouble With Focus and Hyperactivity
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects about 9 to 10 percent of kidsbetween ages 3 and 17 in the United States. ADHD can make it hard for kids to sit still, concentrate, focus and control impulses and emotions. This isn’t because kids with ADHD are lazy—it’s because they have a brain-based medical condition. While the exact cause of ADHD isn’t known, research shows that genetics and differences in brain development and in how the brain processes neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) play a role.
If you think your child is showing signs of ADHD, find out what to do next.
5. Dyslexia: Trouble With Reading
Dyslexia is the most recognized and best-researched learning issue. It’s what’s known as a “language-based learning disability” and is sometimes referred to as a “reading disability.” Dyslexia can cause trouble with reading in a number of ways—including trouble with sounding out words, rhyming or understanding a text. But dyslexia can affect more than reading skills. It can make writing, spelling, speaking and even socializing difficult.
It’s important to know that dyslexia isn’t caused by low intelligence or poor vision. It’s a common issue that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language. Find out what to do if you’re concerned your child might have dyslexia.