Learning Challenges

Most kids diagnosed with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence.  They simply learn differently and need specialized support to succeed.  Because these kids are bright, sometimes their problems can go unnoticed.  They often are working twice as hard as their peers to keep up.  When academic expectations increase, putting in more hours isn’t enough to maintain their grades.  For this reason, some kids are diagnosed with learning disabilities as late as high school or college.  Other kids adopt a different strategy and act out behaviorally when, in fact, they have undiagnosed learning disabilities.  Many high-profile and successful people, including Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, struggle with dyslexia.

Learning disabilities (LD) is an umbrella term for disorders including dyslexia (language and reading problems), sensory integration disorder (motor coordination problems), central auditory processing disorder (difficulty processing and remembering language tasks), nonverbal learning disorders (nonverbal communication problems), visual perceptual/visual motor deficits (reversing letters) and language disorders (poor reading comprehension, etc).

Diagnosing a child with LD before he is expected to read fluently is often challenging.  However, parents can watch for indicators (see below) of learning differences and act as early as possible.  The earlier children can get intervention, even before a formal diagnosis, the more prepared they will be as academic demands increase.  Acting early is particularly important to safeguard your child’s self-esteem.  Children with learning challenges commonly decide at an early age that they’re not “smart” by sizing up the differences between the academic performance of their peers and their performance. 

Children’s Health Council offers a range of services for children with learning differences and the problems that can often accompany them such as ADHD and anxiety.  Our approach to helping kids with LD is to make sure complicating factors are identified and addressed as part of the solution.  

In addition, Sand Hill School at Children’s Health Council, offers a personalized approach for children (grades K-3) with early signs of learning differences and other early signs of trouble in school.

Indicators of Learning Challenges

  • Difficulty with reading
  • Exhaustion at the end of the school day
  • Psychosomatic complaints such as stomach aches

Specialists Who Work With Learning Differences

Assistive Technology Specialists
Educational Specialists
Occupational Therapists
Speech-Language Pathologists

To discuss your concerns further, call 650.688.3625 or email help@chconline.org.