Learning Problems: Top 9 Questions to Answer Before You Run for Help

Learning Problems: Top 9 Questions to Answer Before You Run for Help

If you think your child has a problem or the child’s teacher/school has told you that you need help for some learning deficiency that they have noticed in your child, then before you rush for any remedial action go through the following checklist. Do read the reason for building this checklist at the end.

  1. How do you know that the child’s behavior is actually a problem? 
  2. Is your source of information based on some movie? 
    • How many documentaries on the subject have you seen?
    • How many of such documentaries were made for commercial gains or sponsored by pharmaceutical industries?
  3. Were you influenced by the opinions of your family members, cousins, in-laws?
    • Was your conclusion based on comparison with the child’s siblings?
    • Was your conclusion based on comparison with the child’s cousins?
  4. If you were also told about the problem in child by the school teacher, then 
    • Did you find out what the teacher’s or school’s expertise about the subject is?
    • How many books of educational/learning experts have the teacher read specifically ?
    • Is the teacher knowledgeable about the different and opposing views on the subject?
    • How many research papers and articles has the teacher researched? 
    • Did you ask for a list of papers and books on the subject that she has read?
    • Does the school has a recommended list of books and papers on learning, growth and motivation that administration must have read before they can counsel the parents?
  5. Was your view about the child’s problem diagnosed by a psychologist/psychiatrist?
    • How is the family life of the psychologist/psychiatrist and how many children does he/she have?
    • Ask for a list of books, research articles specifically related to children’s learning and growth that the psychologist/psychiatrist recommends others to read.
    • How much time has the psychologist/psychiatrist spent in school environment guiding the learning of healthy students and of what age?
  6. Is that behavior actually a problem: What is the basis of your conclusion?
    • How many books of educational/learning experts have you consulted?
    • How many research papers and articles on the Internet have you researched.?
    • Are you aware of the views of different schools of thoughts on that issue?
  7. Are your observations about the child constrained by the time pressure?
    • Are you pressed for time due to family/work or household pressures?
    • Do you feel pressed for time because you need to give special time and attention to your younger children?
    • Are you pressed for time because of the health issues in your family and near ones?
    • Are you pressed for time because of some external pressures?
  8. Have you studied the Islamic view about the human nature?
    • What are the learning requirements for the success in life here and in the hereafter ?
    • How does Islam define success in the life here?
    • What are the minimum requirements to be successful in the eyes of the creator?
  9. What are the achievements of people who were diagnosed in their school times with such problems?
    • How many such examples have you seen and studied?
    • What made these high achievers overcome their initial problems?

Objective of the above Checklist

  • The checklist is intended to highlight the role of different people involved in labeling a child. 
  • Beware of people masquerading as an expert who have studied for passing the exams and never did a passionate study of the nature of a child and the growth and learning dynamics. 
  • Please have faith in the ability of your child.
  • Before you start suspecting a problem in your child do a little research. Seek guidance from several sources. 
  • Beware of the pharmaceutical companies bribing the doctors/psychologists to recommend medications for problems that do not exist or are not severe enough to require immediate medication. They are routinely bribing the doctors and psychiatrists with foreign trips and gadgets, funding various psychology institutes and other businesses. 
  • Note that psychologists and psychiatrists typically are trained for abnormal people. They go through text books that are based on the experience and study of abnormal people. They often have not done an extensive study of the normal children having difficulties in learning. 
  • The study of learning issues of healthy children is the domain of educationists and not psychologists or psychiatrists. You must consult a very well read educationist who is up to date on the literature and research in education (not someone in school whose entire life is spent teaching or controlling or administering children).

See Also:

  1. Do you think your child has some learning deficiency?Top 9 Questions to Answer Before You Start Worrying
  2. My child does not sit still and concentrate!
  3. How Parental Judgements can Shatter a Child – Self Fulfilled Prophecies 
  4. Are you really concerned about your child’s education
  5. Bell Curve Evaluation of Students and Islamic Conception


  1. interesting .. however, best not to be so skeptical of a parents' (esp mothers) 6th sense…
    -mother of a high functioning autistic child

  2. Jazak'Allah doctor sahib for this enlightening article. I am for a joint movement against this crime being perpetrated by some educationists and psychologists before much harm has been done to our innocent youth.

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