Red flag for possible Learning Disabilities.

Teachers should be the first to notice when something is not quite on par. However, when parents know what to look for, possible problems can be identified and dealt with sooner.

Generally, early detection of ADD/ADHD is difficult because we often find it hard to distinguish normal boisterous, inattentive and uninhibited behavior from behavior that is abnormal or symptomatic of ADD/ADHD.

Early identification of any learning problems and subsequent intervention can make a huge difference in the life of the child and their family. Early intervention is linked to more positive social and behavioral adaptation, smaller gaps in cognitive and chronological age, and reduced manifestations of co-existing learning difficulties.

Diagnosis before the age of four is very risky and can often be pre-mature. Pre-primary teachers and parents of pre-school children should be on the lookout for signs of delayed development or risk of learning difficulties, such as the ones listed below.

ADHD is more than just an inability to sit still. Often there are delays in speech-language, motor-skills and/or academic readiness. This will also manifest as an inability to remember ABC’s, numbers, shape, and letter-sound associations.

Possible signs can include:

Language
Slow development in forming words or sentences (“late talkers”)
Pronunciation problems
Difficulty learning new words; slow vocabulary growth
Difficulty finding the right word to use when speaking
Difficulty understanding and following simple (one-step) directions
Difficulty understanding questions
Difficulty recognizing or learning rhyming words
Lack of interest in storytelling
Immature grammar (syntax)

Emergent Literacy and Skills
Slow speed in naming objects and colours
Limited phonological awareness (rhyming and syllable blending)
Difficulty understanding that written language is composed of phonemes (individual sounds) and letters that make up syllables and words
Minimal interest in print and limited print awareness
Difficulty recognizing and learning the letters of the alphabet
Difficulty learning the connection between letters and sounds

Cognition
Trouble memorizing the alphabet or days of the week
Poor memory for what should be routine (everyday procedures)
Difficulty with cause and effect, sequencing, and counting
Difficulty with basic concepts, such as size, shape, and colour

Motor Skills
Clumsiness
Poor balance
Difficulty with fine motor skills and manipulating small objects (stringing beads, tying shoes, buttoning)
Awkwardness with running, jumping, or climbing (delayed gross motor skills)
Difficulty with or avoidance of drawing, coloring, tracing, or copying

Social Behavior
Trouble interacting with others, plays alone
Easily frustrated
Hard to manage, temper tantrums
Has difficulty following directions

Attention and Behavior
Distractibility and inattention
Impulsivity
Hyperactivity
Difficulty changing activities or handling disruptions to routines.
Excerpted and adapted from: RIEF, SANDRA (2016) How to Reach and Teach Children and Teens with ADD/ADHD, Third Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

How Brain Gain can help
The Brain Gain Concentration Program is a fun, non-invasive program designed to help children from age four and older to over-come concentration issues. There are no medications, no side effects and homework to follow with the Brain Gain Program.

We use conditioning Brain Training, that helps a child concentrate optimally for longer. Once the conditioning has taken place, the effects of the Training program should continuously improve as your child becomes older.

For 6-year olds (Grade R’s) a School Readiness assessment is available that assess if the basic requirements for academic readiness is evaluated as well as your child’s concentration. If this assessment is done mid-year, it gives you the added advantage of having time for intervention to take effect before your child has to go to Gr 1. With Brain Gain, intervention would include a concentration-training program.

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