Common Red Flags For Learning Disabilities

What is Dyslexia?
December 18, 2013
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Common Red Flags For Learning Disabilities

I Hate School aka Why is School So Hard?

Your child comes home from school and tells you that school is “soooo hard.” How does a parent effectively respond after gritting of teeth and reluctantly passing up the golden opportunity to share that if he or she would just pay attention or put in a little more effort it might change.

The first thing is to obtain some clarity. You need to figure out exactly what the complaint means. Does it mean that math is difficult? Reading? Writing? Paying attention? Once you are able to determine exactly which subject or area is troubling, the next step is to check for any of the following “red flags.” You may want to speak to his or her teacher and ask specifically if your child demonstrates any of the following symptoms during the school day:


  • few friends
  • misreading social cues
  • inability to appropriately respond to a particular audience – e.g. telling off a teacher or pushing his/her way into a conversation with peers
  • parallel play at 5 years or older


  • impulsive
  • inability to sit still
  • destructibility
  • disorganized
  • calls out
  • interrupts


  • op positional /defiant
  • task refusal
  • school refusal


  • difficulty sounding words out
  • poor sight word recall
  • letter confusion


  • confusion about word or sentence meaning
  • difficulty sequencing


  • inability to retain what is read
  • difficulty connecting prior knowledge
  • difficulty retaining abc, colors, etc.
  • consistently misspells words
  • spells words differently in same document
  • difficulty recalling basic math facts


  • difficulty differentiating between left and right
  • difficulty sequencing everyday lists like the days of the week or months of the year
  • difficulty visualizing mental math or geometry
  • calculation errors that are way off( e.g. 5×7=512)
  • incomplete mastery of basic facts


  • difficulty brainstorming topics
  • poor spelling
  • inability to correctly sequence story
  • difficulty organizing ideas
  • taking excessive time to get things down on paper

Some common learning disabilities (which will be discussed in greater depth in my next blog) include dyslexia (reading difficulties), dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing), dyspraxia (difficulty with motor coordination), dysphasia/aphasia (speech or language impairment or disorder), central auditory processing disorder ,visual processing disorder and attention disorders.

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