Episode 25 – Specific Learning Difficulties

Popularly known by their most common kinds: dyslexia, dyspraxia, or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, these are conditions that impair specific learning skills and can appear very early in childhood. These are called “specific learning difficulties” (SpLD).

In this episode of Chatabout Children™, we talk about this range of learning-related problems that you and your child may already be facing. To talk about them and their available interventions, we’ve invited Tanya Barber.

Tanya Barber is an experienced private practice educational and developmental psychologist. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology (Educational and Developmental) and is a fellow of the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists. She has a special interest in the comprehensive assessment of children and adolescents’ profile and the identification of their support needs. She has extensive experience in the assessment of ability (IQ), in co-learning skill in specific learning disorder, in social and emotional development, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Tanya works very closely with parents, schools, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and intervention providers such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists in assisting children with specific learning difficulties live a meaningful life.

Key Learnings

The difference between a clinical psychologist and an educational and developmental psychologist
The current state of specific learning difficulties based on Tanya’s practice
What specific learning difficulty is
How specific learning difficulties were called in the past
How specific learning difficulties are diagnosed
What IQ tests are and how children with specific learning difficulties fare with them
What executive functioning is
The relationship between specific learning difficulties and attention problems
Red flags to watch on children that may have specific learning difficulties
Some success stories of children with specific learning difficulties
Learning styles of children with specific learning difficulties
Tanya’s advice for educators
How to boost a child’s self-image if he or she has a specific learning difficulty

Tanya’s number one tip for guardians of children with specific learning difficulties
Guardians should do their best to get a full assessment of the child so that a comprehensive profile of the child’s specific situation can be created. This will be a useful tool in fostering collaboration between parents, teachers, and other professionals in their shared goal of helping the child live a meaningful life despite his or her learning difficulties.


“It’s really finding that particular area [and] providing lots of positive reinforcement around that so the child can build their identity around that particular area around their area of strength.”



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Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.


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