Learning & Developmental Disabilities Specialist

Seashore Pediatrics

Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine located in Wall Township, NJ

It’s estimated that 15% of children have one or more developmental disabilities. The same number of children have a learning disability. Catherine Meli, MD, and Naheed Rahmet, MD, at Seashore Pediatrics have extensive experience in screening for learning and developmental disabilities. If you’re worried about your child’s progress, call the office in Wall Township, New Jersey, or book an appointment online.

Learning & Developmental Disabilities Specialist Q & A

What are learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities or learning disorders occur when the brain has trouble getting, storing, using, or relaying information.

Your child may struggle to understand or interpret what they see or hear. They may not be able to link information from different areas of the brain.

As a result, learning disorders affect academic skills such as reading, mathematics, reasoning, and writing. But having a learning disability does not reflect your child’s natural intelligence.

What are the different types of learning disabilities?

The most common learning disabilities are:

  • Auditory processing disorder: can’t recognize subtle differences between sounds in words
  • Dyscalculia: poor math comprehension, trouble counting
  • Dysgraphia: difficulty with fine motor skills, difficulty writing, poor spelling
  • Dyslexia: difficulty with reading and language-based skills; substitutes one word with another
  • Language-processing disorder: struggles to attach meaning to sounds
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities: trouble understanding nonverbal cues like facial expressions
  • Visual perceptual or visual motor deficit: difficulty understanding information that’s visual

Learning disorders are always severe enough to affect your child’s performance at school. You may also notice that your child struggles to perform age-appropriate activities.

What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disability is an umbrella term that includes a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are present at birth, even if they’re not diagnosed until the child is older, when developmental problems become noticeable.

A few examples of common developmental disabilities include:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Language and speech disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Movement disorders

Developmental disabilities are complex problems. One type of disorder often coexists with another developmental, physical, or mental health disorder.

How are learning and developmental disabilities detected?

Every time your child goes in for a well-child visit, the doctors at Seashore Pediatrics monitor their development by evaluating developmental milestones. These milestones quickly reveal potential problems with your child’s development in these areas:

  • Social and emotional
  • Language
  • Cognition
  • Movement and physical development

If your child’s development is delayed, or they had skills that regressed, the team at Seashore Pediatrics performs developmental screening.

Depending on the type of disability diagnosed, your child may receive treatment at Seashore Pediatrics. For example, medications can improve symptoms of ADD/ADHD and help children become more successful at school.

If your child needs specialized care or therapy, your doctor at Seashore Pediatrics will help you find the support you need and continue to serve as your child’s primary advocate.

If you’re worried about your child’s progress or behavior, call Seashore Pediatrics or book an appointment online.