Seeing Signs

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If your child is not making sufficient academic and social progress in school, you should consider that you might be witnessing the signs of a learning difference or disability. This does not mean that your child is slow or less intelligent than peers, your child’s brain might simply be “wired differently” for learning, and your child might need to be taught using strategies that make the most of his/her abilities. We at Walbridge School individualize instruction so that students learn using strategies that allow each student to make academic progress through their strengths.

The following list might help you look for a possible learning disability that affects your child. If you believe your child has some of the signs of a learning problem, please feel free to contact Walbridge School to discuss whether we might be able help your child become successful in school.


Have you noticed that your child has, or had:

  • Pronunciation problems?

  • Difficulty finding the right word?

  • Difficulty making rhymes?

  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes?

  • Trouble concentrating?

  • Trouble interacting with peers?

  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines?

  • Difficulty controlling pencils, crayons, scissors?

  • Difficulty with buttoning, zipping, tying laces?

Grades K-4

Does, or did, your child:

  • Have trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds?

  • Make consistent reading and spelling errors, including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)?

  • Experience difficulty learning basic math concepts?

  • Have trouble learning the concept of time?

  • Take a long time to learn new skills?

  • Have trouble remembering facts?

  • Confuse basic words (run, eat, want)?

Grades 5-8

Is your child having difficulty, or has your child had difficulty:

  • With reading comprehension or math skills?

  • With letter sequence (soiled for solid, left for felt)?

  • With prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies?

  • Organizing her/his bedroom, notebook, papers, and desk?

  • Keeping up with papers and assignments?

  • With handwriting?

  • With time management?

  • With understanding oral discussions and expressing thoughts aloud?

High School

Is your child having difficulty:

  • Spelling the same word differently in a single document?

  • Taking on reading or writing tasks?

  • With open-ended questions on tests?

  • With memory skills?

  • Adapting skills from one setting to another?

  • With a slow work pace?

  • Grasping abstract concepts?

  • Focusing on details?

  • Misreading information?


It is normal for parents to observe one of these signs in their child from time-to-time. However, if your child exhibits several of these signs, it is important that you act and get the help your child needs. Early intervention can make a big difference in the academic and social skills of your child, and this can result in improved self-esteem, self-confidence, and happiness. Walbridge School has been developed to meet the needs of children who learn differently.

Source: Adapted in part from Heath, Steven, Why wait until children fail? Early screening for children at risk for reading problems, LDA Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 3, October 2005, pages 16 & 17

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