Learning Disabilities in Early Elementary School
The early elementary years (K – 4th grade) are a crucial time from an educational standpoint. It is when children are supposed to learn the “building blocks” upon which all other skill & knowledge is based. Successful acquisition of these “basics” is not only necessary later in school, but also for success in work and life in general. The pace of learning in these years is intense, and if a child falls behind, it can be very hard to catch up.
Many LD children are first noticed when they start falling behind in the early elementary years or have difficulty acquiring basic skills. Children who did not appear developmentally delayed prior to school entry but who show problems early-on, once they enter school, are far less likely to have medical problems, Mental Retardation, Autism, or other diagnoses and are far more likely to have mild or subtle learning problems. Luckily, most early elementary teachers are both alert and sympathetic to such children. In most school districts across the country, the tendency is to recognize these problems are not the child’s fault and to offer assistance once the need is recognized.
Another fortunate thing for the early elementary LD child is the fact that they themselves usually do not yet realize they are different in any way. If there are no associated underlying emotional problems, they tend to be well-motivated, well-liked, and well-behaved – all of which helps the people helping them a great deal.