There are many reasons why children experience learning disorders, including low intelligence quotient (IQ), abnormal brain function, and the mental as well as the emotional state of the individual child. External factors which affect children’s learning include the environment in which the children are raised, such as parents’ attitudes, teachers’ teaching techniques, family conditions, school conditions, socio-economic conditions and social values. Studies have shown that it is usually a combination of these factors that can lead to learning disorders.
The detecting of learning disabilities is a sensitive issue and involves several factors that vary from person to person. Children with learning difficulties should be assessed thoroughly and a review of their health history should also be considered. This comprehensive assessment should encompass the time the children were in the womb until they were born and extend through to the additional stages of their growth and development. The assessment should also look at external factors such as parenting, the family, and the environment – both at home and at school. The children should undergo a physical examination, including testing of the nervous system and sensory functioning in the form of an eye test and hearing test, as well as a brain test and a psychological test that indicates emotions, behavior, thoughts, intelligence, adjustment and social skills. Other special tests include an IQ test and a test of learning skills such as reading, writing and mathematics.
A formal assessment will lead to the correct assistance and treatment. Special assistance will enable the children to study further, depending on their capabilities. The results of the full assessment will also enable medical and teaching professionals to work together in the same direction for the benefit of the children and their families. Understanding the importance of assisting children with learning difficulties, Samitivej Children’s Hospital has established the Learning Disorder Center to provide assistance to these special needs children.
The specialists at the Learning Disorder Center include child and adolescent psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, experienced special needs teachers and nurses.