Parents are often the first to suspect that "something is not quite right." School reports show the child is lagging behind the rest of the class.

Many have an illusion that their child’s academics will improve with time; but this is not always the case. So, if parents and teachers detect a child's learning disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful and productive life. For some, it can be scary to admit that their child is struggling to learn. They may also fear that their child may be “labeled for life” if he or she is identified as having a learning disability. These feelings are all normal but, it is important to note that the sooner a parent knows about their disability, the sooner the child can receive help (at an early age) where it is still possible.

Here are some common characteristics that may provide signs that clarify early detection to a learning disability. It is considered to be normal, if you see one or some of these signs from time to time. It is likely abnormal, to see them often over a long period of time.


  • Difficulty interacting with peers
  • Difficulty with rhyming words
  • Extremely restless or/and easily distracted
  • Fine motor skills are slow to develop
  • Problems following directions or routines
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Slow vocabulary growth and often unable to find the right word
  • Speaks later than most children
  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, and shapes
Grades K-4
  • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
  • Impulsive, difficulty planning
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals or numbers(b/d or 3,E), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
  • Unaware of physical surroundings, poor coordination, prone to accidents
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
  • Slow to learn the connection between letters and/or sounds
  • Slow to process or remember facts
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, ÷, /, =)
  • Trouble learning about time/clock
  • Unstable pencil grip
Grades 5-8
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Awkward, fist-like, and/or tight pencil grip
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Hard time making friends
  • Neglects writing assignments
  • Reverses letter sequences ( left/felt, or thought-thougth)
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, or other spelling strategies
  • Trouble understanding body language or facial expressions
  • Trouble with word problems/solutions
High School Students and Adults
  • Avoids reading or writing tasks
  • Continues to spell words incorrectly, and frequently spells the same word differently
  • Difficulty in summarizing
  • Focuses on them too much or either pays too little attention to details
  • Interprets or misreads information
  • Poor memory skills
  • Struggles in adjusting to new settings
  • Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
  • Weak grasp of abstract concepts
  • Works slowly (Timing)
The Canadian Statistics Association estimates that one of every five students has some degree of learning disability. It is very important that you seek help as soon as you realize your child is struggling with learning. Seeking help and certainly acknowledging the early signs of a learning disability it can make the difference between success and failure for your child in school.

Rest assured that should you be the parent of a child that shows signs of learning disabilities, we at Hope Resource Centre offer strategic programs that help overcome such difficulties. Engaging students to use their strengths towards overcoming their difficulties (rather than tutoring them through weaknesses) causes them to gain confidence in themselves and experience success.

Please know that you are not alone. We provide hope and direction!