Learning Difficulties



There are various different forms of difficulties. For example, doctors talk about dyslexia, which means difficulty in reading, or dysphasia, meaning difficulty in learning how to speak, or dysgraphia, which is difficulty in learning how to write.

There may be a good basic reason for the difficulty. Many doctors believe that at birth (or sometimes before birth) influences over which the child had no control may have played a part. For example, if there was an oxygen deficiency at birth, the brain may have become mildly adversely affected. This is sometimes referred to as minimum brain damage (MBD for short). In turn, this may lead to a condition called hyperactivity, or the hyperkinetic syndrome. The child learns with difficulty and is also extremely active – another particular type of learning difficulty.



During the first few years of life, the tiny brain is like a sponge and absorbs an enormous amount of data. In fact, it’s claimed that during the first five years of life the brain absorbs more data than in the remainder of life.

Usually a person’s intellect grows as they grow in age. But stimulation is essential from an early age. Ideally the child will be exposed to a series of stimulating situations and a varied group from an early age. Education starts at home. In fact it begins the day mum brings the baby home from hospital. It continues unabated until a young person leaves – and then some.



In some, there is sheer mental retardation, and this is the basic cause for failure to thrive mentally. Another important cause is slowness in maturation. Some children learn to acquire certain skills at a much faster rate than others. It has been noted that children with a late puberty are often slower at learning. Some children have difficulty in piecing words together, so they stammer. There is nothing wrong with their vocal cords. It’s essentially a mental condition. Some children learn to ride a bike later than some of their peers. The dyslexic child has difficulty in learning to read.

Learning Difficulties Treatment

What should a mother do if she believes her child has some learning or speech problem? I think that proper assessment by an expert is important to start with. This should start with the family doctor, and maybe a neurological examination is needed to begin with. After this, assessment by an educational psychologist is often the next vital step. There are many problems associated with learning. Fortunately, in many cases a reasonably good outcome may be affected.