From the moment a child is born, it starts to learn through the instinct of nature and parental nurture. Then, formal education enters the frame and the multi-faceted sphere of learning continues along its eternal orbit.
Most youngsters, within the sphere of learning, progress and develop within accepted, and unseen parameters allowing them to grow into well rounded, educated individuals. There are others that are able to hasten the pace of their learning orbit and take their journey beyond the accepted parameters and exceed normality.
Sadly, some young people are unable to keep pace and exist within the accepted parameters of learning. From day one, unseen, they begin to flounder in their orbit of learning. Often, this is first recognized at parental level, before specialist observations are brought into play.
Fortunately, the area of learning in young people has been intensely studied, expanding our understanding of cognitive awareness and development. Today, highly skilled professionals work with the field of child learning and are able to quickly identify a child with what we know today as having a “learning difficulty”.
It was Samuel Kirk, back in 1963, that first coined the phrase, using it to identify youngsters who, ostensibly, have typical levels of intellect, and yet have hidden barriers restricting the pace of learning. We can now recognize learning difficulties as a cerebral based affliction which effects the pace at which learning progresses.
Children with learning difficulties can be looked upon as being “at risk’. In addition to parental and professional awareness, a child soon becomes aware of the fact they are not progressing at the same pace as their peers. This can be damaging to their overall wellbeing and mental health.
Samitivej Hospital recognize the fact that, globally, around 1 in 6 children have some level of learning difficulty, and that early intervention, diagnosis and treatment is vital. Vital, not only to ensure the child’s pace of learning doesn’t flounder irrevocably, but also to ensure the child’s wellbeing and happiness.
With this in mind, they created the dedicated Learning Disorder Center. This is a modern facility staffed with highly trained professionals who are able to identify, diagnose and treat the multitude of problems that children with learning difficulties face.
Identifying that a child has a learning difficulty is one thing, diagnosing its exact extent, along with any peripherals that may be exaggerating the condition, requires the abilities of a skilled professional. The Learning Disorder Center has a diagnostic plan of proven methodology which enables the specialists to identify the exact issues and needs of every child.
To begin with the team will assess the child’s general health history, look at the schooling performance and garner the opinions of relevant educational professionals. This is all done to create a detailed background picture of the child’s learning history to act as a basis for further diagnostics.
Then, a child and adolescent psychiatrist will undertake an assessment which pinpoints the exact cause, or causes, of the problem. This is followed by a session with a psychologist who is able to determine the affects the learning issues are having on the child’s psychological wellbeing, as well identifying any peripheral factors that may be exasperating the condition.
Identifying external factors that may be acting as an aggravator to the child’s cognitive impairment is essential. These factors may come, unwittingly, from within the family unit or the child’s peer group. Equally, stresses on the child may not be so innocent, from within the child’s peer group bullying is not uncommon. Such factors must be identified and expunged to safeguard the child’s wellbeing.
A vital part of the diagnosis is an IQ test. An age-appropriate IQ, or intelligence quotient, test will compartmentalize the intellect of the child into set areas of learning. Thus, it can then be seen in which areas of learning each individual child is having difficulty, which in turn, allows the specialist to tailor the treatment plan for each child.
The Learning Disorder Center collate all their findings and produce a detailed report on the child’s condition. The report will pinpoint the exact areas of learning in which the child is having difficulties, and any factors which may be negatively affecting their learning progress. The report will be made available to the parents and the appropriate counselling services.
For the appropriate treatment program for each child to be of maximum benefit, the center knows that communication between all interested parties is essential. The center will closely laisse with the child’s school, and where necessary, any additional educational facility, to ensure that the educational professionals have a full, and clear, understanding of the child’s needs.
From the detailed assessment of the child by the Learning Disorder Center, a specialist needs teacher can then draw up a comprehensive Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, which is tailored to the specific needs of each child. This teacher will also monitor the progress of the child, adjust the education plan as necessary whilst constantly keeping all interested parties informed of the child’s learning development.
In some cases, the learning difficulties experienced by a child can bring about behavioral issues that also need to be addressed. These may include attention deficit, inappropriate responses, hyperactivity and mood swings. A diagnosed child may also experience difficulties in communicating with others within their peer group, or even simply making friends.
A recent survey by PubMed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), found that in children with learning disorders, 17.6% of them had behavioral issues that included some level of violent behavior. Although violent episodes are by no means the norm, in a minority of cases they can be extreme.
Should a child’s learning difficulties extend to extreme behavioral issues the specialists at the center may opt to prescribe medication to combat the behavioral extremes. There are numerous drugs that can be given to combat behavioral instability in a child.
Mood stabilizers, for behavioral management, such as lithium, carbamazepine and sodium valproate are proven to have a positive effect in the control of erratic and inappropriate behavior. The HHS published figures that show a positive improvement in behavior in over 90% of children with learning difficulties that were prescribed these forms of medication.
Samitivej Hospital’s international reputation is without question, and their Learning Disorder Center is typical of the dedication, professionalism and results based accreditations that the hospital has. The center’s psychologists, psychiatrists and special needs teachers make this facility one of the world’s leaders.
©2022 by Laudee Group