Friday, November 25, 2011

Learning Styles and Learning Problems

Sometimes your child's learning problems will not be caused by their learning style, although they may be made be co-related. For example, if your child's learning style is auditory and they have a hearing issue, the learning problem will be magnified.

Vision Problems
Your child’s learning issues may be due to poor vision, easily corrected by a behavioural optometrist with eyeglasses or special eye muscle exercises.

Eye teaming: the brain can't combine input from both eyes, resulting in double vision. Largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as dyslexia.

Children with tracking problems can't control their eye movements to follow the line of print when reading.

Focus: eyes get tired during reading and cannot stay on the print

Longsighted children cannot see detail at close range (the book).

Shortsighted child cannot see detail at a distance (the whiteboard). This usually manifests at age 7 up and goes undetected. Warning signs: a good student loses interest in schoolwork, doesn’t progress or becomes disruptive.

Vision perception problems: the child experiences difficulties in analysing and giving meaning to what they see.

Fine motor eye-hand coordination problems cause poor handwriting and, as time progresses, lack of learning progress.

If reading difficulties persist after optometric problems have been corrected or excluded, the child should be referred for Irlen Syndrome testing to see if they can benefit from reading through a coloured filter.

Hearing issues
Both learning and behavioural issues may be caused by hearing problems. Schools don’t test hearing routinely and may even misdiagnose mild hearing loss as ADHD.

If your child’s hearing is fine and they’re not ADHD, their inability to listen may stem from auditory processing difficulty (normal hearing but inability to process what they hear), so consult your local audiologist.

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