The Critical Benefits of Identifying and Addressing Learning Challenges in Grade R – 3’s
For many reasons, Grade R – 3 is the most important phase in a child’s school career. Grade 3 in particular has been shown to be a particularly fundamental schooling year for children. It is vital that children receive nothing less than a good foundation for their learning. Anything less will be detrimental to their future scholarship. Subpar teaching in the foundational phase could jeopardise their chances of getting a high school certificate.
The schooling foundation of every child must provide the basic skills in three areas: reading, writing and maths. If these are lacking, these students will struggle for the rest of their education. Unfortunately, this is no exaggeration.
Children with special learning needs are at even greater risk. Mainstream schooling systems often leave these children behind. This is due to lack of training and facilities. There is a very high chance that their needs will be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The consequences of having undetected learning disabilities are serious. Behavioural adjustment can become a real challenge. Feeling dumb and worthless can also have a tremendous psychological impact on these learners.
Many adults have undetected learning challenges. Others have never received the support they need. This is even the case in a country as developed as the USA. In that country, 60% of adults with particularly evident literacy problems have learning challenges that have never been detected or never been addressed.
The emotional toll of having learning challenges can be very costly. Children with these difficulties can suffer daily lack of self-confidence. Many also feel sadness and social isolation. Ongoing unease and embarrassment can be common for these students. These issues carry over to adulthood. They can often even lead to underemployment. This is where their earnings are well below their peers. Those with learning challenges also experience more pronounced difficulty in finding jobs at all.
For these and other reasons it is so important to recognise and address these challenges as soon as possible. The older a child becomes, the better they can be at addressing these problems. This is why early detection and action are so essential in Grade R – 3. These children are not lacking in intelligence. They are often lacking in qualified help. And this help is readily available.
Recognising Early Signs of Possible Learning Challenges
There are difficulties in assessing learning challenges in children. The average age that they can be diagnosed is in the Grade 3 age bracket (children that are about 7 or 8 years old).
A challenge in assessment can be that even those without any learning trouble can exhibit some of the symptoms. This is why it is crucial to get a professional to confirm whether or not there is, in fact, a problem.
Concerned parents, however, can consider some of these symptoms in early development. They might be indicating that your child might need extra support when it comes to their current and future schooling.
Children younger than five can already be showing difficulty in learning. Delayed speech is a concern. Children who struggle to learn new words are also at risk. In view here are not only rare and long words. These would be everyday words that most young children often don’t have a hard time picking up. A noticeable difficulty in pronouncing words should also not be overlooked. This would be when a child battles with most words, not only difficult ones.
Children who struggle to recognise when words rhyme could be displaying signs of learning challenges. Many who fall into this category also struggle to identify smaller sounds inside words. For example, being unable to pick out the “k” sound in the word “donkey.”
Learning to recognise shapes is important in early development. Being unable to name squares, triangles and circles would be a concern. The same applies to colours. Even before reading, young children should display an ability to recognise letter and number symbols. Days of the week would also be a marker of possible troubles.
Toddlers that struggle with two- or three-step directions might be displaying indications that should be noted. Poor grip on pens and crayons is another. For preschool children, excessive difficulty in buttoning, zipping and tying is also not a good sign.
These are some red flags that should be noted. But please keep in mind that all children will probably struggle with at least one of these categories at one point or another. Concern should be raised when it is difficult in a few of these areas almost all of the time. This is again a good reason to have any concerns you might feel addressed by a professional.
Diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Here is an example of how recognising early obstacles leads to a better schooling experience. Children who are have an early ADHD diagnosis can deal with it effectively. This leads to better and more effective education.
ADHD has a long history of medical interest. It was observed as early as 1902. In the late 1980’s it was finally labelled, as we know it today. It describes three symptoms: inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
ADHD is not considered an official learning disability. But anyone who has experience with the condition knows that it can have a negative impact on learning. Half of the children diagnosed with ADHD also have an official learning challenge or related condition.
Again, children at the age of seven can be tested for ADHD. This is right in the critical Grade R – 3 range of schooling. Many students respond well to medication and bring their ADHD challenges under control. However, if a student continues to struggle academically while doing well in the inattentiveness and other areas most likely is displaying the effects of a learning challenge.
For this reason, getting proper diagnosis is so vital. It takes professionals to correctly assess and then correctly address a child’s particular needs when facing obstacles to learning. It also takes time, since the pupil will need to adjust to the ADHD medication. Only after this can the root causes of learning problems be properly assessed and addressed. This is all the more reason not to delay in getting your child assessed if need be.
Japari is here is to help
Studies have also shown again and again how important it is to meet special learning necessities as soon as possible. Every school term that pupils miss out on having their needs met equates to months that can never be recovered.
Japari is an assisted mainstream learning environment. We have been meeting the specific learning needs of children for decades now. We are fully equipped to diagnose a child’s particular basic learning requirements. Only qualified professionals are on staff in our therapy and assessment centre. They specialise in learning challenges. They can ensure that your child will receive the correct diagnosis. Japari can then provide the support needed throughout their schooling. From Grade R – 3, all the way to Grade 12, our students receive holistic schooling. This is all tailored to their individual needs.
If you have any concerns about your child’s future, contact us today. Rather have one of our professional assessors confirm that a there is no problem. Let them tell you that your son or daughter is within the standard range of cognitive learning. Don’t let your unfounded concerns haunt you.
But don’t take the chance of risking not addressing a valid problem. To risk leaving a young child undiagnosed jeopardises the possibility of equipping an intelligent child reaching their full potential. And no parent wants to see that happen to his or her children. Let us assist you in guiding your son or daughter. They can have the excellent schooling experience they deserve.