Does your child struggle with schoolwork or paying attention in class? There could be an underlying reason affecting their studies, such as dyslexia or ADHD. Many children go through school without learning or behavioural difficulties being picked up, and this can often knock their confidence or make them feel unintelligent. Sometimes it is as simple as needing the subject to be explained in a different way, or with understanding of the way the child thinks.
Dyslexia, which the NHS estimates affects 1 in 10 people, often presents through difficulty in reading and writing, such as slow reading, or confusing the letter order of words. Jacqui Fisher, a local dyslexia specialist who runs the organisation ‘A New Way’, encourages parents to contact her if they have any worries about their child’s progress in school or study activities if their school is not willing or able to test the child. She also specialises in Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. Check out her website a-new-way.co.uk for more information. Once Dyslexia has been identified in the child, they can receive help from their school , if available, throughout their education which should help with their confidence and achievement. Visit the NHS website page on Dyslexia for more information: nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may present through inattentive behaviour, or zoning out, hyper or overactive behaviour, and impulsivity. Some people also experience issues with sleeping and anxiety. Usually these symptoms may be picked up when the child is young, and lessen as the child becomes an adult.
However often ADHD does not get identified, especially in girls. This article on childmind.org shows one take on why this is. Not recognising symptoms of ADHD early on can lead to difficulties in the child’s learning life. Although lack of motivation and attention at school is not uncommon, particularly during teenage years, it is still worth talking to the school or consulting a GP if a child’s behaviour seems different to their contemporaries. Visit the NHS website page on ADHD for more information: nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit
To hear more about dyslexia and learning difficulties, and how it can affect a child’s learning life, check out our 4 LEGS radio interview with Jacqui Flisher (from 7m 30s) and Ellie Chelton (who was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 21 years old) from 45m30s.