Many children live with learning disabilities until they start school, but these conditions can be identified at preschool. Fortunately, you can identify the top five early signs of learning disabilities in preschoolers and discuss your concerns with a pediatrician.
Delay in Speech and Vocabulary Development
When you spend time with other parents who have preschool children, pay attention to how much other children talk, including the vocabulary range that children use at the same age as your child. An early sign of a learning disability in preschool children is late speech and delays in expanding vocabulary. If your child has difficulty trying to speak or find the right word, this may be an early sign of a learning disability.
Children naturally want to interact with their peers. If your child appears uncomfortable around children of the same age, this may be a sign of social challenges that come with learning difficulties. This is different than children who enjoy time alone. The key is to watch your children for any signs of discomfort in social situations, especially those with other preschoolers.
Difficulty with Focus
Children are full of energy and curiosity, but being restless and easily distracted is an early sign of a preschoolers’ learning disability. Watch how your child behaves when you sit down to focus on a task, including how your child behaves when asked to sit still for an extended period. If your child becomes frustrated or fidgets, this may be a sign of a learning disability. You can also give your child directions for a task or a standard routine and see how well the child performs.
Trouble with Speech
Other areas of speech that should be evaluated for signs of learning disabilities in preschool children are trouble rhyming words and pronouncing words. Your child may develop the foundation of speech and vocabulary development on par with preschool children, but rhyming and pronunciation are difficult for young children with learning disabilities.
Delay in Learning the Basics
As part of their development, preschool children should learn their ABCs, numbers, days of the week, colors, and other learning basics. If your child struggles with these areas and is visibly frustrated, it may be an early sign of a learning disability to discuss with your pediatrician.