children learning disorders

3 Types of Learning Disorders That May Impact Your Child

December 28, 2017

The learning disabilities often seen in children can present numerous difficulties for the affected individuals and their families. These conditions can be hard to diagnose, may be potentially overlooked and could have devastating short and long-term consequences on the personal, social and professional lives of stricken young persons.

The good news is that many learning disabilities can be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals and behavioral therapists. Three such disorders the parents of young people might wish to become informed about include dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. The Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center, a rehabilitation facility catering to teens only, invites parents to read the following brief article about these conditions, their symptoms, possible causes and potential treatment options.



This learning difficulty, also called reading disorder, causes stricken individuals to experience problems decoding letters and words. Because this ailment is hard to detect prior to a child learning how to read and write, it often proceeds unnoticed until after (occasionally well after) he or she enters a scholastic setting. However, there are certain cautionary signals parents can look out for in babies and pre-school aged children including:

  • Difficulty remembering words and letters
  • The inability to formulate or understand words
  • Are slow to develop verbal skills

Once the child enters school, parents, teachers and/or school administrators might detect red flag manifestations such as:

  • Problems executing reading and writing assignments
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Word pronunciation difficulties
  • The inability to process the words he or she sees or hears


This ailment is often caused by genetic flaws impacting the brain’s ability to properly process letters, words and language. Occasionally, factors like premature birth and pre-natal exposure to drugs or other potentially harmful substances may be at fault.


Treatment is often contingent upon several different factors including the severity of the problem, in addition to the age at which the stricken is diagnosed. It is important to note that there is no one sure fire cure. Therapeutic regiments are often unique to individual patients and involve the young person, his or her parents and family, educators and medical professionals working to formulate a plan that will enable the impacted to retrain their brains to process words and language differently.


Those affected with this learning disability, also often referred to as “math disorder” experience difficulty mastering basic mathematical concepts.


Young people experiencing this problem often, at first, display subtle manifestations such as quickly losing track when counting or using their fingers to count. However, students might also express more significant signs like having difficulty performing tasks like:

  • Telling time
  • Memorizing numerals grouped together, such as seen in a phone number
  • Counting large numbers
  • Comprehending fractions
  • Solving word problems that involve math-related concepts
  • Estimating and understanding subjects like height, width, and length


Unlike reading disorder, scientists have not yet linked math disorder to any known genetic maladies. However, the condition is believed to be a brain malfunction.


Much like reading disorder, math disorder does not have any one definitive treatment protocol. Helping a child overcome this problem will require the input of the child, his or her family, educators and medical professionals to create a unique strategy designed to address his or her specific needs. Parents can, however, provide their child supplemental support by:

  • Ensuring he or she has the tools needed to solve math problems like a calculator or computer
  • Encourage him or her when they struggle or experience anxiety
  • Make learning math concepts more fun by teaching certain skills through games or computer programs


Children with this condition often experience trouble writing. The writing of impacted individuals is categorized by poor penmanship that results in letters improperly sized and/or words that are spaced incorrectly.


Though experts opine the condition is neurological in nature, they have found no exact cause for the condition. However, many medical professionals attribute the problem to traumatic brain injuries that impact the motor skills of afflicted persons.


Treatment options vary depending upon the severity and presumed cause. In cases where the precipitating factor is motor skill damage, those in the medical community recommend working with physical therapists to regain the motor skills necessary to write properly. When the cause is unknown, affected persons may consider working with handwriting experts and learning disability specialists to retrain themselves how to write.

Young people experiencing these learning disabilities are often of normal or above average intelligence in need of support and professional assistance to help them overcome these challenges. Hillcrest employs some of the best and most experienced learning disability specialists. Parents of children with one of these maladies may be able to benefit from our facility and we invite them to contact us for more information.