ADHD Basics

Identifying Difficulties

Most kids have some problems in school at one time or another. Some struggle with a specific subject while others have trouble relating to a certain style of teaching. Sometimes learning disabilities are blamed on lack of motivation, immaturity, or behavior problems. But if your child has significant ongoing problems with the "3 R's" — basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic — then he may have a learning disability.
Children are unique and each has specific strength and challenges.  You will need to talk with the teacher, other school staff and family members. Its’ important to get the child’s input as well.  As you consider the factors listed below ask yourself if your child has shown these characteristics to a greater degree than is normal for their age, over a period of time in different environment.

Possible LD Characteristics:


  • Speaks later than most kids
  • Is unable to find the right word when carrying on a conversation
  • Can't rapidly name words in a specific category
  • Has difficulty rhyming
  • Has trouble learning alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes, numbers
  • Is extremely restless and easily distracted
  • Can't follow directions or routines

Grades K-4

  • Is slow to learn the connections between letters and sounds
  • Can't blend sounds to make words
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors
  • Has problems remembering sequences and telling time
  • Is slow to learn new skills
  • Has difficulty planning

Grades 5-8

  • Is slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other reading strategies
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Has difficulty with word problems in math
  • Spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
  • Avoids reading and writing tasks
  • Has difficulty remembering or understanding what she had read
  • Works slowly
  • Has difficulty understanding and/or generalizing concepts
  • Misreads directions and information