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Learning Difficulties In Children

My 12 year old daughter can't tell the time properly. Could she have learning problems, as her SATS results are also below average?


Annie's Reply
Hello,
It is impossible for me to actually do any diagnosis about your daughter, but yes, I would expect most twelve year olds to be able to tell the time. The fact that her SAT scores are also below average are perhaps an indication that she needs some extra help.

Unfortunately tests and diagnosis are only helpful if the school has good programs to help those children learn in different ways. Schools are very dominant in visual and auditory learning, and many of out children are kinesthetic learners. That means they need physical movement for the connections in the brain to fire off.

When children are tiny, many of the physical movements and stages they go through are related to learning and brain development later. For example, crawling is important for some maths abilities. Sometimes there has not been enough early development in certain areas to stimulate the brain in ways it needs for later years.

There has been some really interesting research and programs developed for Dyspraxia - which is to do with motor functions (body movement) and the way the brain orders information. It has nothing to do with intelligence, simply the brain has not built the neural pathways to enable certain tasks to be managed "normally"

I'm not suggesting your daughter has Dyspraxia, but as an example, with lots of specific physical exercises, the brain can develop those pathways to enable learning.

All children are different with different abilities, skills and gifts. Schools are designed to cater for the average child. Children who don't measure up to the average unfortunately often end up with self esteem issues because they feel they are failing.

So my advice would be, certainly do any testing and get her into appropriate programs that can assist her learning. But most importantly, build her self esteem in areas that she shines in. We are not all academically the same, and she needs to feel successful, and valued regardless of any SATS scores.

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