Signs Of A Learning Disability Throughout Your Child’s Development

Signs Of A Learning Disability Throughout Your Child's Development | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Arlington VA

Does your child struggle with school?

Have you noticed they’re having difficulties with language and reading?

It’s possible they’re showing signs of a learning disability, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful in their educational journey.

Early detection and intervention with speech therapy for learning disabilities could help your child address these problems.

Let’s take a closer look at how to recognize the signs.

What Is a Learning Disability

Learning disabilities impact how an individual sees, remembers, understands, and uses verbal and non-verbal information.

Ultimately, learning disabilities are a language problem.

For example, imagine someone asking about your day.

You’d probably recall what you did or how you felt and describe it without a second thought.

A child with a learning disability might know exactly what they want to describe, but have trouble finding the right words to say it.

Types of Learning Disabilities

There are different types of learning disabilities that can create different problems for a child.

Speech therapy for children can address each of these.

Continue reading below to learn about some of the different types of learning disabilities.


Dyslexia is connected to the part of the brain that processes language.

As a result, a child with Dyslexia can struggle with reading, writing, spelling, and speech.

While this can feel intimidating, kids with dyslexia can understand what you say aloud just as well as anyone else.

Speech therapy treatments for dyslexia in kids is geared toward helping them manage their dyslexia.


Have you ever come across handwriting that’s so difficult to read it looks like one word bleeds into the next?

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that causes problems with writing.

A child exhibiting dysgraphia might have trouble forming letters correctly or writing proper sentences.


Dyscalculia is a condition that makes it hard to do math and tasks that involve math.

Individuals with dyscalculia might have problems learning number related concepts.

Auditory Processing Disorder

Based on the name, you might think an auditory processing disorder impacts how well a person hears, but this isn’t the case.

An auditory processing disorder is a sensory learning disability that affects how a person understands language.

A child with an auditory processing disorder may have difficult recalling the details of instructions their teacher said.

Types of Learning Disabilities You Child May Be Experiencing | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Arlington VA

What Are The Warning Signs Of A Learning Disability?

The signs of a learning disability can be difficult to spot.

Maybe a teacher has expressed concerns that your child is struggling with reading, writing or math despite being otherwise quite bright.

Or, perhaps you’ve noticed they struggle to turn sounds into words, even when they seem to know exactly what they want to say.

Small concerns, like regularly noticing your child has difficulties recalling the details of a story they enjoyed can be important forewarning.

By being attentive to your child’s behaviors is a great first step to recognizing the warning signs.

Keep reading to explore behaviours children at different age groups may exhibit if they’re struggling with a learning disability.

Signs Of A Learning Disability In Preschoolers

How do you notice the signs of a learning disability in a child who is only just beginning to use and understand language?

In preschool age children, the following problems can be warning signs of a learning disability:

  • Challenges with learning or understanding the alphabet
  • Having difficulty remembering, learning or understanding the words to songs or rhymes.
  • Problems matching sounds to letters
  • Difficulty remembering numbers or counting in order

Signs Of A Learning Disability In Primary School Children

Once your child reaches school age, the above concerns are still a factor.

However, you may notice a variety of new potential signs, including difficulty with:

  • Doing basic math or remembering the order of numbers, like a phone number
  • Being able to tell time
  • Understanding what they read
  • Spelling properly
  • Learning new words either through reading them or hearing them

How Can Speech Therapy For Learning Disabilities Help?

Speech therapy might not be something you’d think of benefiting a child with a learning disability, but it can.

Speech, writing, and reading are all connected.

While we’re commonly known as speech therapists, our full and proper name is speech language pathologist, and that’s because we address issues related to language as well as just speech.

This includes learning disabilities.

If you suspect your child has a learning disability, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a speech therapist for an evaluation.

Your child’s speech therapist will evaluate how well your child listens, speaks, reads, and writes.

From there, if it seems like your child has a learning disability, they will put together a treatment plan designed to address your child’s unique needs.

This may include:

  • Helping them make sense of how books work
  • Exercises to match letters with the sounds associated with them
  • Writing exercises
  • Recalling the details of a story they read
  • Using their strengths to reinforce their weaknesses

The approach your speech therapist takes will depend on what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are.

However, in general, early intervention in learning disabilities can help your child overcome their learning disability, giving them the best shot at life.

Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today

Are you noticing the signs we talked about today in your child?

If you suspect your child has a learning disability, the best thing you can do is intervene early.

Book your appointment with District Speech today.

District Speech and Language Therapy
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005


District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.