Learning Problems

How to understand your child’s learning problems so you can do something about them!

Learning disabilitiesYour child comes home from school and you cringe as you open the backpack to reveal what you know will be a slew of unfinished class-work, homework, and yet another note from the teacher informing you of the struggles your child is experiencing in her classroom.

Worse yet you fear seeing the graded test your child took yesterday, and cross your fingers hoping for at least a passing grade.

As you rifle through the mounds of papers, and try to prepare yourself for the work that lies ahead, you glance over at your child who has long-abandoned the book bag and is racing around looking for anything to do that does not require thinking or a pencil.

Your child is struggling because of something very real:

You just can’t figure out why school is such a struggle for your child. You’ve done everything you can think of to help your child be successful – spent countless hours teaching and reviewing skills at home, invested in tutoring, threatened with consequences, promised rewards – but none of these things has consistently helped.

Some days you are convinced your child is just stubborn, and other days you’re sure it’s just laziness or a bad attitude. But when you’re honest with yourself and listen to your gut, you know there is something more to the equation.

Your child is struggling because of something very real, but you haven’t been able to identify what that real problem is.

Most efforts to improve learning fall short:

Many parents spend years investing time, money, and energy in trying to help their child overcome the learning problems that plague them. Most become disappointed and disillusioned when their investment doesn’t lead to substantially different outcomes.

Maybe the child learns to read a bit better, or their handwriting improves somewhat, or their frustration tolerance for schoolwork improves; but the overall process of learning is still a struggle.

Most programs aimed at improving learning fail because they lack a focus on the foundations for successful thinking and learning.

How the CORE Approach at Horizons addresses learning problems:

Your child needs the right learning foundations in place in order to become successful learners – which includes the ability to think, read, comprehend, spell, write, problem solve, do math computation, follow directions, and recall information to name a few.

These foundations include skills such as:

  • Sensory processing – the ability to take in and make sense of information from the environment such as the things we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch; also includes a sense of balance
  • Visual perception – taking in visual information clearly, making sense of it, and being able to appropriately respond to it
  • Visual tracking – visually following things in the environment and moving the eyes together smoothly
  • Motor planning – being able to quickly think through how to take action and then being able to do it; includes coordination and differentiating movements
  • Auditory processing – taking in auditory information clearly, making sense of it, and being able to appropriately respond to it
  • Attention shifting and maintenance – being able to shift attention to important things in the environment and sticking with tasks until completion
  • Body awareness – understanding where the body is in relation to other things; having sufficient muscle tone
  • Memory – encoding information appropriately in short term and long term memory as appropriate
  • Laterality – establishing a dominant hand, foot, etc.

Children with deficits in one or more of these areas struggle with various aspects of learning. Most struggling learners are intelligent, but they lack the ability to demonstrate their capabilities due to breakdowns in foundational skills.

Once your child’s specific deficits are identified – a plan for correcting the problems can be developed. This means you won’t be stabbing in the dark, hoping the problem will get fixed – you will have a targeted plan for treating the weak areas that are preventing your child from performing up to their maximum potential.


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Horizons DRC continues to provide therapy and consultations. Telehealth options are available. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or for resources to help handle this situation.