Some of the signs that indicate that your son may have a learning difficulty might include:
Falling behind most of his classmates at school or nursery.
His teacher or nursery staff mentions to you that they have some concerns about his pace of learning.
He may not be reaching developmental goals within the expected time scale according to recognised scales.
You notice that he may not be learning at the same rate as older siblings.
You have a gut feeling that something is not quite right in terms of his development.
You experienced a difficult birth and/or pre/post natal difficulties.
You have noticed a decline in his progress following an illness or accident.
You feel that there is a miss match in his verbal skills and reading and writing levels.
He has very poor concentration unless it is an activity that he is very keen on (a particular television programme/computer game etc.)
He has difficulty understanding and following simple instructions.
He has a poor short and or long-term memory.
He has poor social skills and doesn’t seem to know how to play/ interact with his peers or how to behave in family / community social situations.
If you suspect that your son may show some of the indicators above firstly don’t panic! All children develop at different rates and it is quite usual to have aptitude and skills in one area, but not others. If you are concerned, it is best to keep a note of your specific observations and concerns, as well as those which are highlighted by others. The more details and evidence the better. Once you have done this it is advisable to go and see your doctor. Ask for his or her opinion and advice. They may well offer a paediatrician appointment, but if they do not, try and re-emphasise your concern and hence urge them to do so.
There is a great deal of help and support available for children with learning difficulties and their parents and the earlier this help starts, the better the progress will be. If your son has already started his formal education (or nursery) you can ask them to refer your child to an Educational Physiologist or to the local Learning Support Service.