5 Learning Disorders That May Affect Your Child

5 Learning Disorders That May Affect Your Child

Photo by Yan Krukov

By Lizzie Weakley

As a parent, it’s natural to want your child to succeed in school. But what do you do if you suspect your child may have a learning disorder? Learning disorders are more common than you may think. Here are 5 of the most common learning disorders and some signs to look out for.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects focus, concentration, and impulse control. Common signs of ADHD include difficulty paying attention, fidgeting or squirming, acting without thinking, and interrupting others. If your child has ADHD, they may find it hard to sit still, follow instructions, or complete tasks.


Dyslexia is a reading disorder that affects the ability to read accurately and fluently. People with dyslexia may have trouble with phonemic awareness (the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds), phonology (the sound structure of language), and word decoding skills (the ability to read words by breaking them down into their individual sounds).

Common signs of dyslexia include difficulty with spelling, reading slowly or choppily, mispronouncing words, and confusion when reading words that look or sound alike (e.g., “was” and “saw”). Check into how dyslexic reading tuition can be helpful for your child.


Dyscalculia is a math disorder that affects the ability to understand numbers and math concepts. People with dyscalculia may have trouble comprehending word problems, accurately performing mathematical operations, remembering number facts or formulas, and estimating quantities. Common signs of dyscalculia include difficulty counting change, telling time, understanding concepts like place value or fractions, and trouble following directions when completing math problems.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interaction, communication, and behavior. People with ASD may have difficulty with social cues such as eye contact and facial expressions, trouble with verbal communication such as using gestures or speaking in sentences, repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping or rocking back and forth, and restricted interests such as obsessions with certain topics or objects.

Processing Disorders

Processing disorders refer to a group of disorders that affect the way the brain processes information. These disorders can affect any of the senses including hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Common signs of processing disorders include trouble keeping track of spoken instructions requiring extra time to process information difficulty distinguishing between similar words or sounds (e.g., “cat” and “bat”), requiring extra time to respond to questions struggling with fine motor skills such as writing or tying shoes. If you notice any of these signs in your child, talk to their teacher or doctor about getting them evaluated for a learning disorder.

As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the different types of learning disorders and the signs to look out for so you can get your child the help they need to succeed in school! Keep these in mind if you start to notice a slip in grades or concern from your child’s teacher.

About the Author

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

*Photo courtesy of Lizzie Weakley

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