POLICY & ADVOCACY

September 29th, 2020

The LD Checklist: A New Tool to Help Caregivers Identify If a Child Has Learning Difficulties

COVID-19 has stalled many typical support systems for families. One challenge of the health crisis, however–that parents and caregivers are more and more responsible for their children’s education—may also be a gift. With more time together, parents have the opportunity to become more closely aware of learning struggles.

Everyone has trouble with learning and behavior from time to time. But when problems persist, they may signal an underlying learning disability (LD) or attention disorder (ADHD). Uneven progress or lags in the mastery of skills and behaviors, even in children as young as 4 or 5, should not be ignored. It’s important that parents, educators, and other care providers are careful observers and share concerns among each other so targeted screening or evaluation can take place. Then students can get the help they need as quickly as possible—before experiencing self-doubt, frustration, and failure.

NCLD has used the most recent research available to develop an interactive tool to help with early recognition of learning difficulties. The LD Checklist: Recognize and Respond is meant to help parents and other caregivers determine whether a child is at risk for, or shows signs of, having learning disabilities. The more characteristics checked, the more important it is to seek clarification about the presence of underlying learning disabilities.

Depending on the results from the checklist, caregivers are recommended subject- and age-specific resources. These high-quality resources range from information on learning disabilities and attention disorders to education games. Now, any care provider can access the tools they need to help a child thrive. 

Early recognition and intervention are the first steps to helping a student who may have a learning disability or an attention disorder. Based on the newest research, these tools are meant to make these first steps more accessible, so that more individuals with LD can be in the best possible position to succeed.

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