Executive control challenges
- Executive control skills are needed for purposeful, goal-oriented activity. They play a role in a child’s intellectual development, academic achievement, personality, social skills, relationships, and communication with others.
- May have difficulty with working memory, planning, organization, and complex problem solving.
- These difficulties affect all areas of learning.
- Some differences are subtle.
- Because of planning and organization difficulties, starting an action may be challenging.
- Children may be overwhelmed by projects. They may be described as inflexible and concrete thinkers.
Learning, attention, and memory challenges
- They may have problems sustaining attention and switching tasks.
- Abstract language and concepts may be difficult to grasp.
- They may not understand or use metaphors.
- Instructions may be heard but not retained long enough for action. May have difficulty with integration skills, working memory, and episodic memory problems.
Early signs may include difficulty with:
- Moving to the rhythm of music
- Remembering content of stories
- Understanding left to right
- Understanding visual spatial concepts
- Coordination (skipping is hard)
- Using correct words or reversing words when speaking
- Writing letters, words, and/or numbers (reversals)
- Proof reading their own written work
- Understanding time
- Understanding seasons
The inability to understand the meaning of numbers or use math principles to solve problems is called dyscalculia. When a child has TSC involvement in the language and visual process centers of the brain, dyscalculia can occur.
Early signs may be difficulty with any of the following:
- Understanding numbers and quantities
- Understanding addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, abstract concepts (algebra)
- Making change
- Handling money
- Recognizing patterns
- Understanding days, weeks, months, and time
- Lining up numbers on page
- Telling time
A learning disability that affects written expression and difficulty in processing spoken language is called dysgraphia. Individuals with TSC have visual-spatial difficulties and struggle to organize letters, numbers, and words on a line or page.They may also have language processing difficulties.
Early signs may be difficulty with:
- Writing or forming letter shapes
- Being consistent with spacing between words and letters
- Stamina when writing even short assignments
- Writing assignments (refusals, reluctance)
- Drawing or coloring
- Holding pencil grip or using appropriate pressure on pencil point
- Staying on lines when cutting with scissors
- Getting thoughts on paper (older students)
- There are individuals with TS who have no intellectual or communication challenges.
- Receptive language is usually good. However, some individuals have difficulty using interactive language for social communication.
- Word retrieval challenges can cause problems with expressive language.