What are Specific learning Disabilities?

Specific learning Disability is a neurodevelopmental-based disorder that affects the way information is learned and processed. It affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. A specific learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation.

Learning disabilities are typically “hidden” in the sense that the person in question does not display any signs that indicate a problem. Yet that person’s skills fail to meet the expected standard level for someone of similar age. 

Specific learning disability may occur in the following areas of skills:

• Oral expression

• Listening comprehension

• Written expression

• Basic reading skills

• Reading fluency skills

• Reading comprehension

• Mathematics calculation

• Mathematics problem solving

It can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.

It can vary in severity: mild, moderate, severe.

While Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities might occur simultaneously, these remain two separate disorders that should not be confused one for the other.

Learning disabilities implying difficulties in writing, reading, reasoning, recalling and organizing information, are lifelong. These can however be surmounted through appropriate support and intervention rather than conventional ways which prove to be highly ineffective for such cases.  With the proper intervention, the person can be successful academically, professionally and socially.

How are specific learning disabilities different than other learning disabilities?

The term disability (low IQ) is used when trouble or lag occurs in any area of learning. In the case of specific learning disabilities (IQ is within the average range or higher), the disorders appear in one or two aspects of learning.

How do I know if my child has a specific learning disability? What are the signs I should be on the lookout for?

The below are non-exhaustive lists of certain common signs that could indicate learning disabilities. While such signs may appear in children with no learning difficulties, real concern is justified only if these persist despite everyday assistance and training.

Some warning signs for children age 5 and under:

  • Delayed speech; problems pronouncing words; difficulty learning new words;  trouble finding the right word; difficulty understanding words and ideas,
  • Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week, or colors and shapes,
  • Poor concentration,
  • Difficulty rhyming,
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines,
  • Difficulty controlling pencils and scissors,
  • Difficulty coloring within the lines,
  • Trouble with buttons, zippers, learning to tie shoes

Warning signs: Ages 5-9

  • Difficulty to blend sounds to make words
  • Difficulty learning to read : trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds ; difficulty to read basic words ; difficulty in letter and word recognition ; problems in reading speed and fluency
  • Difficulty to learn new skills
  • Frequent errors in spelling words
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences.

Finding support should be the first thing you do if you suspect that your child with learning difficulties needs it. The earlier your child gets support, the better are her or his chances to achieve full potential.

How is a learning disability diagnosed?

A medical consultation should first be carried out in order to eliminate any physiological cause (perceptual, neurological, etc …).

A psychological assessment must be made by a psychologist in order to have the complete cognitive profile of the child (IQ). If necessary, speech and psychomotor assessment will assess language, motor and instrumental skills.

Following these evaluations, a therapeutic project will be established. A period of rigorous and regular care would confirm the diagnosis.

At what age can a Specific Learning Disability be diagnosed?

For written language (dyslexia) there are no warning signals, of course, before the child is old enough to learn to read, but in the first year of learning written language, some signs can arouse the attention and allow suspicion of the existence of a disorder. In addition, a child who has had difficulty in oral language will have a hazard out of two to develop difficulties learning how to read. Early detection is important.

A delay of 18 to 24 months in reading capacity will be used as a diagnosis criterion.

For oral speech (dysphasia), if the first signs appear at the age of two or three years, the diagnosis can only be made at the age of five.

For motor coordination disorders (dyspraxia), the first signs appear in kindergarten. We can speak of dyspraxia only if these disorders persist and the gap in the child’s scores on psychomotor tests is very significant compared to the norm. 

Where are the CLES Centers?

Badaro
Ibrahim Medawar Street,
Khoujaz & Bonja building, 1st floor
Tel/fax +961 (1) 380 111
badaro@cles.org

Beirut
1 Sodeco Street,
Marianne Klees Center, 3rd floor,
Tel/fax +961 (1) 611 281
beirut@cles.org

Tripoli
“Damm W Farz” Street
Obeid Building, 1st Floor
Tel/fax +961 (6) 423 430
tripoli@cles.org

Saida
Wastani Street, Maksar El Abed Road
Debbané Building
Tel/fax +961 (7) 752 273
saida@cles.org

Zahlé
Zahlé Boulevard,
Chedid Center, 2nd floor,
Tel/fax +961 (8) 802 940
zahle@cles.org

Zouk Mekayel
Al Bustan Street
Antoine Farah building n.26
Tel: +961 (76) 356 240
zouk@cles.org

Nabatieh
Kfar Jawz
Behind Sharek Sweet, Center Joud, 1st floor
Tel: +961 (81) 637 492
nabatieh@cles.org

Semkanieh
Hasbani turn,
Sadek building, 2nd floor
Tel: +961 (5) 500 199
semkanieh@cles.org

What does it cost to enroll my child in a CLES Center?

The fees are symbolic and they are reduced to a monthly fee of 10.000LL.

What are Learning Support Classes?

These are classes fully equipped by CLES (furniture, computer equipment, educational tools and specialized programs). They receive primary cycle students, in small numbers, in public schools spread in the six districts of Lebanon. These classes are held by teachers trained by CLES. Children with difficulties benefit from specific teaching methods that help them learn more harmoniously (in Arabic, French and mathematics).

 

How can I enroll my child in a CLES Center?

An enrollment application is completed on-site or through a telephone call. The family will be contacted once there is a vacancy in the center. The child who meets the admission criteria will benefit from the various services provided by CLES centers.

Does CLES offer teacher training?

Yes CLES offers teacher training for the LS teachers in order to assess, evaluate and teach the kids suffering from learning difficulties.

If CLES centers can’t accommodate my child what can I do?

After having carried out the necessary assessments, if the child is not a candidate for a CLES center, the team in charge will direct him or her towards a facility adapted to their needs.

What kind of specialists should I see?

The specialists responsible for the diagnosis and management of children with specific learning disabilities are:

  • The psychologist who evaluates the cognitive skills of the child and takes care of following up with the child and his family.
  • Speech therapist who assesses communication skills, oral and written language skills and logical- mathematical reasoning; and performs the necessary rehabilitation.
  • The psychomotor specialist who evaluates the instrumental and motor troubles and performs the necessary rehabilitation.

What are the ages of children accepted at CLES centers?

CLES therapy centers welcome children between 3 and 12 years of age.

CLES diagnostic center at Badaro provides assessments starting the age of 3.

If my child is autistic can you help?

In case a child presents difficulties that belong to the autism spectrum, they are not admitted to a CLES center. He/she would need a suitable academic program and therapeutic project.