Signs & Symptoms of Learning Disabilities

Kindergarten to fourth grade:

  • Has difficulty reading (unable to make connecting between letters and sound, confuses simple words)
  • Consistently makes spelling errors, reverses, inverts letters and numbers
  • Reads very slowly and not smoothly
  • Confuses math signs
  • Difficulty remembering math facts
  • Grasp of pencil is not typical or is difficult (tired or sore hand)
  • Difficulty learning time
  • Poor coordination

Fifth grade to eight grades:

  • Does not like to read out loud
  • Reading is slow and choppy
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor ability to keep and make friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • I.Q. scores not reflected on report card
  • Unorganized with school work
  • Slow to grasp concepts

High school

  • Avoids reading and writing
  • Avoids homework
  • Below grade level reader
  • Spelling below grade level
  • Unable to comprehend instructions or understand written questions
  • Unable to keep up with school work, even at lowest ability level for grade
  • Difficultly recalling test answers, despite studying them the day prior
  • Frustrated with school

The symptoms of learning disabilities are a diverse set of characteristics which affect development and achievement. Some of these symptoms can be found in all children at some time during their development. However, a person with learning disabilities has a cluster of these symptoms which do not disappear as s/he grows older.

Most frequently displayed symptoms:

  • Short attention span
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Inability to discriminate between/among letters, numerals, or sounds
  • Poor reading and/or writing ability
  • Eye-hand coordination problems; poorly coordinated
  • Difficulties with sequencing
  • Disorganization and other sensory difficulties

Other characteristics that may be present:

  • Performs differently from day to day
  • Responds inappropriately in many instances
  • Distractible, restless, impulsive
  • Says one thing, means another
  • Difficult to discipline
  • Doesn’t adjust well to change
  • Difficulty listening and remembering
  • Difficulty telling time and knowing right from left
  • Difficulty sounding out words
  • Reverses letters
  • Places letters in incorrect sequence
  • Difficulty understanding words or concepts
  • Delayed speech development; immature speech