Recognizing Specific Subtypes of Reading, Math, Spelling, and Written Language Disorders in Children
While parents will primarily focus on physical or social milestones in their child’s development, learning milestones are left mainly to educators. Administrators and teachers can play critical roles in identifying various subtypes of learning disorders in children. Early identification can be vital in helping the individual overcome the challenges of the disorder and assisting the family in understanding it as well.
Reading and Spelling Disorders
Reading and spelling disorders will often stem from a type of dyslexia. The various types of dyslexia, however, are impossible to treat equally.
Phonological dyslexia can make it difficult for children to decode words and will often lead to reading issues but not spelling issues. The challenge that is unique to this subtype of reading disorder is that children cannot match the written symbol with the appropriate sound.
Surface dyslexia is a spelling disorder that can put significant strain on children as they learn various spelling syntax. For example, the difference in spelling height and bite can be difficult to remember to spell and to sight-read.
Although it’s not as well-known as dyslexia, a subtype math disorder called dyscalculia impacts about 3 to 6% of students. Similar to dyslexia, dyscalculia makes it difficult to understand the language of math.
Math disorders will often go undiagnosed. However, if your child or a student in your class seems to have significant struggles with calculations and mathematical reasoning, consider testing them.
Identifying subtypes of math disorders can lead to a more patient approach, and the use of different teaching methods. The combination of the change in practices and patience can lead to successful outcomes.
Written Language Disorders
Written language disorders will often impact both reading and spelling abilities in students. This confusion, particularly among education staff who aren’t medically trained to diagnosis subtypes of learning disorders, can lead to a false and informal diagnosis of “dyslexia” without any given subtype.
Sentence and discourse stand as the lesser diagnosed subtype of written language disorders. This disorder has roots in writing composition and projects as an inability or struggle to grasp concepts such as commonly bound morphemes, or the conjugation of a verb.
What Can Early Identification Do for Children?
Within the educational and sometimes legal system, a learning disorder is the umbrella term applied to many disorders that impact learning ability. Identifying the specific subtype, however, often comes with a medical diagnosis or diagnosis from a qualified professional such as a speech pathologist.
When the child involved receives a formal diagnosis of a specific subtype of a learning disorder, we can approach their education in different ways. Innovative learning techniques, more understanding or dedicated educational staff, and parents who take a hands-on approach to learning should be the response to this diagnosis.
Without the early identification of specific subtypes of a learning disorder, children may continue to feel that they can’t succeed. There are also issues of handling rejection from academics-based activities and not being able to participate in afterschool activities because of a mounting workload.
Identification is critical to give children with learning disorders of any type a fair chance at educational success.