Information About Disabilities
Checklists, Worksheets & Forms Handy, easy-to-use and printable forms from the National Center for Learning Disabilities designed to make it easier for you to manage your child's learning disability.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) / Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
What are the Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders? Each of the disorders on the autism spectrum is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. They share some or all of the following characteristics, which can vary from mild to severe:
- Communication problems (for example, with the use or comprehension of language);
- Difficulty relating to people, things, and events;
- Playing with toys and objects in unusual ways;
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or to familiar surroundings; and
- Repetititive body movements or behaviors.
Children with autism or one of the other disorders on the autism spectrum can differ considerably with respect to their abilities, intelligence, and behavior. Some children don’t talk at all. Others use language where phrases or conversations are repeated. Children with the most advanced language skills tend to talk about a limited range of topics and to have a hard time understanding abstract concepts. Repetitive play and limited social skills are also evident. Other common symptoms of a disorder on the autism spectrum can include unusual and sometimes uncontrolled reactions to sensory information—for instance, to loud noises, bright lights, and certain textures of food or fabrics.
Learning Disabilities and ADHD
Parents are often the first to notice that "something doesn't seem right." If you are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early. The following is a checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.
- Speaks later than most children
- Pronunciation problems
- Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
- Extremely restless and easily distracted
- Trouble interacting with peers
- Difficulty following directions or routines
- Fine motor skills slow to develop
- Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
- Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
- Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
- Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
- Slow to remember facts
- Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
- Impulsive, difficulty planning
- Unstable pencil grip
- Trouble learning about time
- Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents
- Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
- Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies
- Avoids reading aloud
- Trouble with word problems
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
- Avoids writing assignments
- Slow or poor recall of facts
- Difficulty making friends
- Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions
- Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
- Avoids reading and writing tasks
- Trouble summarizing
- Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
- Weak memory skills
- Difficulty adjusting to new settings
- Works slowly
- Poor grasp of abstract concepts
- Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much
- Misreads information
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Ever Wonder Why Your Child Does The Things He/She Does?
- Do you wonder why they are excessive risk takers - jumping and crashing into anything they can ?
- Why they can’t do puzzles - write well - or find the coordination for riding a bike or hitting a ball?
- Why they cry or cover their ears with every loud sound - even vacuums, toilets or hairdryers ?
- Why they don’t like to be touched or can’t be touched enough?
- Why they will only eat macaroni and cheese and pizza?
- Why they will only wear certain clothes or need you to cut the tags out of their shirts?
- Ever wonder why you can’t seem to calm them down or get them to sleep?
- Why they won’t put their hands in anything messy or use glue, Play Doh, or play with mud?
- Why they fear playground equipment or being tipped upside down?
- Why crowded stores bother them so much leading to major meltdowns in public places?