Common LearningDisabilities

Central Auditory Processing Disorder

This disorder has nothing to with hearing. The student may hear perfectly well, the problem lies with “how” he hears:

  • Words that enter the brain may be processed too slowly, and therefore, unable to keep up.
  • One may hear all the words, but cannot make sense of them.
  • One may process the words, but cannot remember what has been heard.

There are many ways this disorder may show itself in and out of the classroom. Here are a few:

  • May look like he is daydreaming and not paying attention
  • Difficulty pronouncing some words and distinguishing speech sounds
  • Difficulty hearing and focusing in noisy environments
  • Says ”huh” or “what” frequently
  • Often needs directions or information repeated
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Difficulty keeping up in social situations
  • Difficulty taking notes
  • When asked a question, he may reply with something completely off topic
  • He may have trouble telling a joke
  • Poor organizational skills

What to do:

Make an appointment to see a recognized audiologist. They will first check to ensure your child is hearing properly. If the hearing is fine, but you are still not satisfied, ask the audiologist to perform Central Auditory Processing testing. If it is determined that your child suffers from CAPD, the audiologist will give you ideas on how to accommodate this disability. These results should be discussed with the teacher to help her understand the problem and how to best accommodate your child.

Children who suffer from CAPD can be helped greatly by having an F.M. System in the classroom. Others in the classroom will also benefit.

Visual Processing Disorder

Visual Processing Disorder can cause issues with the way the brain processes visual information.

Here are a few signs/symptoms of Visual Processing Disorder:

  • May have trouble remembering what he has seen
  • May not recognize likenesses and differences in what he is seeing
  • Difficulty remembering a visual sequence and order of symbols
  • May not be able to find a shape that is embedded in another
  • Difficulty copying notes from the board
  •  Messy handwriting, and struggles to write on a line
  • Tires easily when reading, and often loses place when reading aloud
  • Reverses letters and numbers

What of do

If you believe your child’s learning problem has to do with the eyes, go to an optometrist and have his vision checked. If he has 20/20 vision, but you are still not satisfied, take him to a Behavioral Optometrist. She will assess if your child has a Visual Processing Disorder between the eyes and the brain: both eyes may not meet at one focal point, therefore, each eye is seeing something different, or visual tracking difficulties, which means your eyes do not track from left to right efficiently. These are just two common factors that can attribute to Visual Processing Disorder.

An assessment from a Behavioral Optometrist will help determine what kind of visual problems your child is having. These can be improved with therapy.