How do you know when to get your son checked for learning disabilities?

Deborah - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son will be three in april and he is actually smart as a whip....however i cant get him to do much of anything for long periods of time and he wont learn his colors and it bothers me alot. people say it will come but what is the age they should know their colors? i work with him and work with him but take plenty of breaks so he doesnt get discouraged. however when hes done hes done anyway....HELP.....

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Do you have him in any childcare/preschool program? What feedback are you getting from his teacher/caregiver? Can you observe his class? Based on what I went through with my 4 (one had a learning disability, the other had autism), with my daughter, she just wasn't interested. She had other things that occupied her mind and wasn't interested in learning. Since she was a summer baby, she was also the youngest in school. After watching how she did in kdgtn, I could tell she was struggling but the teachers were reassuring so we attempted 1st grade. Gen is bright, but it was clear after completing 1st grade that there was something else going on too. She was tested both at school and independently with neuro-psych and we learned that she has ADHD, dyslexia, and Irlen Scotopic Sensitivity. My other son struggled a great deal throughout his elementary years and only after much struggle, we finally got an accurate diagnosis in his 6th grade year (high functioning Autism).

I think it is good that you are concerned about your son's progress, however, I think he probably just learns in a different way. Boys are most active and learn differently (read Dr. Michael Gurian's book "Boys Learn Differently"). They are more active so its best to incorporate learning with things that capture his interest. Get feedback from his preschool teacher. Watch how he does his kidgtn year. If you see him still struggle, then get him tested. The hardest thing with testing him at 3 is that it's not very accurate because the test results are dependent upon how much he grasps the tester's instructions. By kdgtn most kids are able to cooperate very well with the testing. Good Luck.

Kristin - posted on 03/29/2010

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He's three and that is just the way they are. If you are really concerned, talk with his pediatrician about this.



As for the colors, he probably does know them but is just being obstinate. Maybe take him outside now that it's spring and ask him about the color of flowers, the grass, parts of a jungle gym, the sky? I read somewhere that color is a really abstract concept initially and that they do better when a color is associated to one specific thing; Thomas the Tank Engine is blue, fire engines are red, school bus is yucky yellow.



If you have a community center near you and if offers kids classes, you might look into enrolling him in the occasional class. I've done art, swimming, ASL for babies, and a couple of others. It helped my older boy know what was expected in a class setting and it really helped him socialize.



If you want to follow milestones and the approximate times they should be reached, the AAP's "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Five Years" is really helpful.



Good luck.

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