Learning Disabilities in Children | Blog | Special Needs Resources

Learning Disabilities in Children

Learning disabilities (or difficulties) is an umbrella term commonly used to describe when children are experiencing problems or troubles with learning. This blog aims to help parents find out more about common types of learning disabilities, how to spot the signs that your child may be experiencing a learning disability, and how best to manage it with a variety of product recommendations. This is a general guide to understanding and managing these challenges.

Signs and Features of Learning Disabilities

All children and consequently, learning disabilities, are unique. The clearest sign of a learning disability is when a child is clearly behind their peers in their learning. This can be identified by a child’s attitude and behaviour towards school, particularly in the early years of primary school. For example, children may:

  • Appear particularly frustrated and reluctant towards completing school and homework.
  • Show negative emotions (such as anxiety, sadness or anger) about schoolwork.
  • Clearly dislike reading, writing and/or maths.
  • Speak in a negative manner about school and learning.
  • Extremely restless, distractible, or anxious about school and/or schoolwork.
  • Trouble interacting with peers or teachers.
  • Find difficulty in following directions or routines.

Other signs of a learning disability in children include:

  • Finding difficulty in learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colours and shape.
  • Slow pace in developing fine motor skills.
  • Trouble with rhyming words or identifying words that rhyme.
  • Slow in learning new skills and facts, instead relying heavily on memory and rote learning.
  • Poor pencil grip and handwriting.
  • Reverses letters or confuses words.
  • Difficulty with basic maths skills or learning to tell the time.
Types of Learning Disabilities and Difficulties

Dyslexia is one of the most well-known learning difficulties. It is a language-based learning disability that affects one’s ability to process spoken and/or written language. Dyslexia is typically identified in children where they may experience difficulty in reading and decoding words, spelling and recognising sight words. There are many types of dyslexia and can present themselves differently in each child. A dyslexia assessment can help understand how best to help your child. 


Dyscalculia affects a child’s ability to learn mathematical and numerical concepts. Children with Dyscalculia may experience troubles with understanding quantity, basic arithmetic operations or telling the time. Many children experience trouble with learning maths at some stage. However, if many hours of practice or rote learning are not assisting with remembering maths facts, it could indicate the presence of Dyscalculia. A dyscalculia test can clarify whether Dyscalculia is present. 


Dysgraphia is characterised by experiencing difficulties with the physical act of writing and expressing thoughts on paper. This can include having poor pencil grip, illegible handwriting, poor spelling or inconsistent letter and word spacing. Dysgraphia can also mean that a child finds it particularly difficult to write and think at the same time, resulting in incoherent sentences or repeating the same point over and over. 

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Though not strictly a learning disorder, APD is a problem with the way the brain processes auditory information to interpret and understand sound. Children with APD might have normal hearing, but have difficulty recognising and interpreting the sounds they hear. APD may impact a child’s ability to understand instructions in noisy environments, following directions, distinguishing between sounds and quickly processing verbal information. 

Visual Processing Disorder (VPD)

VPD affects how the brain interprets and processes visual information. It is different to issues involving sight or sharpness of vision, but rather, impacts the way one makes sense of visual information. VPD may cause children to find difficulty in recognising shapes, letters and numbers, which can consequently affect reading and writing. 

Product Recommendations

Special Needs Resources understand that children can feel discouraged and upset if they are experiencing a learning difficulty. We’ve compiled some of our favourite learning resources for children to make learning a fun and enriching process, despite the difficulties that may be faced.

  • Mobi Maths Games – An award-winning product that makes maths fun! A simple, quick and addictive number game that can be taken on the go and be played in as little as five minutes. 
  • Addition 0-12 Flash Cards – Set of flash cards allows children to memorise addition, with a self-checking format. Allows children to work independently to learn their sums.
  • Beat the Kangaroo Australian Dollar Bingo – Allows children to practice and learn addition and subtraction with Australian money through a fun game format. 
  • Multiplication Chart – A perfect poster to be put on the wall at home or in the classroom to help children learn their times tables. 
  • Monkey Subtraction – Learn how to subtract with this fun monkey calculator. Slide the monkey’s feet, and his toes will point to the numbers to subtract. Want to check your answer? It will be in the monkey’s hands!
  • 100s Bubble Board – The fun double sided bubble board helps children learn about place value, counting, addition and subtraction.
  • Spell Cat – This spelling game features Spell Cat, a special cat that has a fascination for words, their spelling and their sounds. 
  • Basic Sight Word Snap – Designed to help new readers and early learners to improve their reading and comprehension skills in a fun way.
  • My First 100 Words – This set from Junior Learning makes the processing of teaching and learning the first 100 words a clear and enjoyable experience for children.  
  • A-Z Lowercase Magnatab – An awesome and eye-catching resource to help children learn how to write the alphabet. It also provides sensory feedback with the stylus and magnetic design. 
  • Comprehension Flashcards – Includes 3 decks of 54 cards (162 cards total) for teaching comprehension, either through independent or guided learning. 
Logic, Problem Solving and General Knowledge
  • Shake, Listen and Match Game – Great for assisting APD, this sound and memory game uses aural skills to listen to sounds and identify other similar sounds to make a match.
  • Honeycombs Matching Game – Super fun matching and sorting game with three styles of play for extended fun and learning. 
  • Headu Logic Game – This game is designed to encourage children to make associations, categorises and understand cause and effect.
  • Time Teacher Watches – These watches have a clear face design and simple teaching method makes the learning process of telling the time a fun and easy process for children.
  • Classroom Clocks – This clock is broken into ‘past’ and ‘to’ sections to make it easier for children to understand minutes PAST the hour and minutes TO the hour. 

Please Note: This blog is not equivalent to, nor should be used as, medical advice. If you feel your child may be experiencing a learning disability, make an appointment to see your GP for assessments and tests.

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