The Chesnie Cooper Educational Centre

The Chesnie Cooper Educational Centre

October 20, 2008 13:00 ET

Heeding Early Warning Signs Can Minimize Effects of Learning Disabilities

Comprehensive assessments provide clear direction for remedy

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2008) - Heeding early warning signs by taking immediate action can help minimize the negative effects of a learning disability or remove them altogether.

In a class of 30 students, 4 to 5, or 15 per cent have a learning disability, according to U.S statistics, so, as a parent, if you detect something that's not right with your child, get help; immediately.

"If parents think there is a problem, there probably is, and while they may not need to panic, the earlier they identify and correct the problem, the better," says Dr. Debby Chesnie Cooper, Developmental and Educational Psychologist and Director of The Chesnie Cooper Educational Centre.

Knowing what action to take is one of the struggles parents face. As there's an array of psychological, educational and vocational tests which measure a student's current status, knowing exactly what the learner requires makes development of a learning strategy possible. Getting professional help is the best way to uncover the source of the problem, as it may be a medical, educational, or psychological issue.

"Early in my practice I recognized the standard assessments used by most educational bodies weren't sufficient to diagnose, unequivocally, a number of learning disabilities and underlying processing disorders," says Dr. Cooper. "That's why my standard tests include both an in-depth developmental history, and an extensive battery of the latest testing tools which identify whether a student is manifesting ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Deficit) or heightened anxiety. This is critical since the symptoms are so similar, but the treatments are very different."

In-depth assessments are critical to correct diagnosis, determining the best course of action and getting the treatment right.

"A misdiagnosis can be just as bad as no diagnosis," says Dr. Cooper. "When a student isn't assessed correctly, they can become frustrated, lose self confidence and become a behavioural challenge just because their learning skills aren't improving - if unresolved, a child can entertain suicidal thoughts and tendencies."

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