learning disability child

As parents post pictures of their children on this first day back to school, I can’t help but wonder how many parents are already dreading the first phone call from the teacher about their child’s behavior in class or the impending meltdown when she is struggling with homework.

When a child misbehaves in school or does not complete their work as assigned, adults will often label it AD/HD or a Behavioral Disorder. However, the underlying issue may be a Learning Disability. Behaviorally, the symptoms may appear the same. The brain function issues causing the symptoms can actually be something very different.

Pre-K and Kindergarten:

As early as pre-K or Kindergarten, a child with a learning disability may begin to display a learned helplessness. Rather than fail, he may simply not attempt the assignment. The teacher may describe your child as impulsive, inattentive, easily distracted, or lazy.

On the other hand, especially if your child is quiet and compliant, she may rush through an assignment and receive a poor grade. It is often assumed that if she would just slow down, she would do much better. The truth of the matter is that she may not be able to complete the assignment because of a learning disability, and hurrying is her way of complying with the rules.


As a child with a learning disability progresses through school, he or she will begin to fall further behind each year. A child’s intelligence level, his ability to process information, and the severity of the learning disability will all help determine how early a disability is diagnosed.

Typically, between 2nd and 3rd grade, the learning disabled child may begin to complain about going to school, homework becomes a source of stress, and negative self-talk increases. She recognizes that she isn’t learning as quickly as the rest of the class, and this begins to affect her self-concept. Anxiety may begin to appear, especially surrounding school or social events.

Click here for Anxiety Disorder and Children

Middle School and High School:

If a pre-teen or teen has a mild learning disability, it may not be discovered until middle school, high school, or sometimes even college. Academics become more rigorous each year, and the upper grades may be the first time your teen has had trouble in school. In addition to the behaviors listed above, he may refuse to do his school work, intentionally get in trouble to be removed from class, or begin skipping school. You may receive a call that your child is being a bully or is being bullied by others. We all know these are signs that something is wrong; it is important to explore whether that something is a learning disability.

How Brain Changers Can Help:

Brain Changers works with students and families who struggle with success in school, whether it is because of AD/HD, Behavioral Disorder, or Learning Disability. Our treatment does not include medication. Through neurofeedback, we retrain brainwaves to function closer to the norm, or typical, for healthy brain function. In counseling, we work on developing healthier thought and behavior patterns to increase success at school and at home.

Let’s get started today! Call us @ 409-300-3113