We are all different in our learning abilities. Some are fast learners; others are slow learners. Some may have normal or high intelligence; others may have below-average intelligence. Memory, cognition, processing, attention and normal sensory systems are all needed for good learning.
Poor alphabet or number recognition at a young age can be a red flag for a learning disorder. Slow reading can be a sign of Dyslexia or other Learning Disability. Locally, most children acquire letter and number recognition early and are considered delayed if they cannot do it by 4 years old or read by 6 years old.
School readiness assessments in the K2 year become important for such children and they may benefit from school preparatory programmes. Importantly, anticipation of the ability to cope in mainstream school is needed. Children who have not acquired the needed skills for primary one entry can apply for a deferment for school entry as subsequent requests for school year retention in primary school are usually not advised. It is more important that they firm up their foundation learning skills prior to school entry. Special school placement may be needed for some children. These programmes and applications need to be supported by a team of experienced professionals trained in developmental paediatrics. Do call for a consultation early if any learning delays are suspected.