FAQ’s

Your Questions About LD

What are Learning Disorders (LDs)?

Children, adolescents, or adults with LDs may have average or superior intelligence. However, their brains are wired differently so they have difficulty learning in ways that come naturally to most individuals. LDs affect their ability to read, write, spell, problem-solve, organize, and comprehend and retain information.

Children with LDs may have difficulties in the traditional educational system. With proper identification, evaluation, and remedial teaching, they can succeed in school.

Does your child have trouble concentrating on schoolwork?

Many children find it difficult to focus in class and on their homework. They are easily distracted by noises or by activities around them.

Attention problems are very common amongst children with LDs, in part because they aren’t able to do the work and get bored. It is very important for children to be able to focus on their lessons – listen, understand and follow directions, stay focused, complete work – in order to learn.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our experienced psychologists help to identify the source of the child’s difficulty. For instance, the child may be bored because s/he has trouble with comprehension or sequencing so s/he doesn’t understand what s/he is supposed to do. Our psychologist can help identify the specific types of difficulties and recommend strategies so the child can do his/her work.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have trouble focusing on most tasks?

Children as well as adults may have difficulty concentrating and can be easily distracted by surrounding noises or their own thoughts.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are caused by neurobiological differences in the brain which affect a person’s ability to start tasks and remain focused on them until they are completed. The difficulty of individuals with ADD is limited to attention problems. Individuals with ADHD experience the additional component of hyper-activity and impulsiveness.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Psychologists and/or Resource Teachers educate parents about the science behind ADHD and how their child experiences these difficulties. They help parents to identify and implement strategies to help their children deal with the consequences of having ADHD. They may also refer children to our ADHD clinic where a team of professionals, including a physician, a resource teacher, and a psychologist assess the child and prescribe treatment that may include a combination of behavioral strategies and medication.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have difficulty sequencing information?

Children with particular LD (dyslexia and dyscalculia) may have difficulty organizing, prioritizing, and managing tasks and time. When we take in information, the brain must select what is important, store the data long enough to record it, and sequence it in a way that makes sense and can be retained. When a child has difficulties in any of these areas, s/he can have trouble completing tasks.

Types of sequencing difficulties are defined by the source of the problem. Children may have difficulty sequencing information they have seen or information they have heard. For instance, when a child hears or reads a story and is asked to retell it in his/her own words, s/he may start at the middle, then go to the beginning, and then shift to the end, interspersing the story with details from different non-sequential parts of the story. S/he may also provide irrelevant details of the story and not understand the key points. In other situations, a child may memorize the days of the week but when s/he is asked which day comes before Friday, she cannot answer and has to go over the days starting from Sunday to figure out the correct answer.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our Resource Teachers work with your child to develop note-taking, sequencing, and organizational skills so s/he can complete his/her work at home and at school and build his/her confidence in his/her own capabilities.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have difficulty understanding and using shapes, images and patterns?

We use images to remember related information and spatial ordering to distinguish between patterns, images, and shapes (circles, squares, triangles). Some children find it difficult to distinguish between different objects and/or shapes and identify or sequence patterns. They have trouble managing and organizing the information they are given, figuring out which additional information and/or tools they need, and using these systematically to solve problems. They may also confuse letters of the alphabet that look similar such as b and d, or g, q, and p. They may also mix up shapes like rectangles and squares.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our resource teachers do drills to reinforce differences between shapes, objects, and patters. They also teach children rhymes and tricks to remember information. Finally, they teach the child how to work systematically to overcome specific problems.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child having trouble recalling material s/he learned? Does s/he have trouble using information s/he learned?

Successful problem-solving requires us to remember what we are trying to figure out (short-term memory) while sifting through our long-term memory until we can identify and accessing information we need, then, in our active working memory, use the information and the steps needed to solve the problem.

Some children with LDs have trouble with their active working memory or with their short-term memory. Consequently, they may study diligently for exams and memorize the information they require, but during the exam they find themselves unable to recall the information they need to solve problems.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our Resource Teachers teach children organizational strategies to help compensate for their deficits in active working memory. They also teach them mnemonic devices and tricks to remember information.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have difficulty understanding and/or following oral or written directions or information? Does s/he have trouble communicating his/her ideas?

Dyslexia refers to difficulties related to using and understanding language. Children with dyslexia have difficulty processing and/or understanding information they hear or read because of the way their brains interprets and/or processes information. As a result, they may have problems speaking, listening, reading, spelling and/or writing. Individuals with Dyslexia may be extremely creative and talented, and excel in the visual arts, drama, sports, mechanics and other areas that require visual-spatial integration.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our Resource Teachers work one-on-one with children to identify which components of dyslexia they are experiencing. They work on specific skills to help these children decode language so they can successfully read, listen, spell, write, comprehend, and learn.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have very messy handwriting or hold the pen/pencil awkwardly? Does s/he have trouble tying shoelaces or buttoning a shirt?

Difficulty in producing legible handwriting at an age-appropriate speed is called Dysgraphia. Difficulty in performing other fine-motor skills such as typing, tying shoelaces, or buttoning a shirt is sometimes referred to as Dyspraxia. The problem of messy handwriting usually originates in a combination of holding the pencil improperly (the most common form of fine-motor skill problems) and in sequencing and/or active memory problems (see relevant FAQs). Children with dysgraphia have difficulty coordinating the muscles of the dominant hand which results in slow and messy handwriting which, in turn, causes problems in completing work legibly in the allotted time and affects their marks.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Our Resource Teachers work one-on-one with children to identify the cause of their messy, illegible handwriting. If they identify a sequencing and/or active memory problem as the cause, they provide appropriate skills and services (see relevant FAQs). If they identify fine-motor difficulties as the cause of the problem, they teach the child specific exercises to strengthen their muscles and improve their writing. In some cases, and when such help is available in the community, children may be referred to Occupational Therapists who specialize in such work.

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Does your child shy away from speaking in social gatherings, or have difficulty making or keeping friends?

Social skill deficits are difficulties in using and understanding social information and conventions. Children with LDs exhibit poor interpersonal understanding and social adaptation. They struggle to communicate with their peers and have difficulty in making and/or keeping friends. They have difficulty coping with the resulting feelings of loneliness.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation understands the challenge of raising a child with LDs. At our Resource Centre (RC), we work with your child to anticipate consequences of their behavior so they can manage their own behavior and minimize feelings of isolation.

Contact us to receive assistance for your child.

Does your child have trouble solving problems or thinking critically, creatively and logically?

Critical thinking and problem-solving are important tasks which can be quite challenging for children with certain types of LD. Even slight variations in the wording of problems can cause confusion and frustration. The rules and steps for solving problems, which most people do automatically, can be a mystery.

How Dr. Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation can help

We help these children to be systematic and develop their organizational skills by providing them with tools to help them to perform tasks and projects successfully at home and at school.

How can parents and teachers help?

Parents and teachers can help children with LD by:

  • valuing their strengths
  • understanding their weaknesses
  • learning about and implementing specific strategies to deal with specific difficulties
  • supporting and encouraging children to learn strategies and tools to build on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.