How To Spot Early Signs of A Learning Disability In Kids

How To Spot Early Signs of A Learning Disability In Kids

A child’s potential learning disabilities should never be ignored. Negligence or lack of treatment in this regard can compromise a child’s well-being, whether it be socially, emotionally or intellectually.

It’s estimated that approximately 10% of all Malaysians have some form of learning disability, with a third of that percentage being children younger than 15 years old. Considering that this condition isn’t extremely rare, it’s definitely worth knowing what the general symptoms are for different learning disabilities.

After all, the sooner a child’s learning disability is discovered, the better you can provide effective guidance and get them adapted to different facets of society. 

Early Signs of Learning Disabilities

Keeping an eye out for several related symptoms of learning disabilities isn’t as simple as doing an afternoon check-up. Your child should exhibit several signs over an extended period of time before you consider sending your child for a professional diagnosis.

One or two rare, inconsistent moments of learning difficulty is by no means an indication of learning disability. With that in mind, here are some potential symptoms:

  • Notable and consistent lack of focus across multiple facets of life, including studies
  • Habitual disorganization
  • Significant lack of memory retention
  • Difficulty at adapting to sudden changes in circumstances or schedule.
  • Persistent issues with comprehending words or intangible concepts
  • Regularly leaving out words in sentences or displaying notably odd behaviour during social interactions.
  • Commonly engaging in impulsive antics or showing difficulty in understanding the consequences of actions.

A Disclaimer On Assessing Signs Of Learning Disability

While it’s generally best to treat learning disabilities as early as possible – sometimes when the child is as young as 3 years old – there are instances where it’s not feasible. Certain learning disabilities, including more severe forms of them, aren’t necessarily apparent until the child is 7 to 8 years old.

If your child is still in kindergarten, it might be best to continue watching over them instead of rushing toward a treatment for a disability they may not have. Most importantly, do not give a personal diagnosis of your child’s learning ability and provide treatment or assistance based on assumptions.

Signs of learning disabilities can vary, and treatments vary on a case by case basis as well. With that in mind, always consult a professional first if you have concerns about your child’s well-being.


Catherine Ann Rauch (2023) Early warning signs of a learning disability (kindergarten) [Accessed 12 February 2024] Available at:

NICHD (2018) What are some signs of learning disabilities? [Accessed 12 February 2024] Available at:

Better Health Channel (2023) Starting kindergarten for children with disabilities [Accessed 12 February 2024] Available at: