Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are common in children, teens and adults alike. Many children experience difficulty in reading, writing or other learning-related tasks at one point or another. However, if several symptoms persist over a long period of time, it may an indicator of something deeper. Some of the most common symptoms include short attention span, poor memory, difficulty following directions, poor reading and/or writing ability, eye-hand coordination problems, difficulties with sequencing, and/or disorganization and other sensory difficulties.

These symptoms alone do not provide enough to determine a learning disability. Through an assessment, Dr. Jennie can better discover what tools your child can use to help lead a healthy and productive life.


ADHD has a wide variety of symptoms and can be difficult to discover. Some indicators may include hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity. These symptoms can have an effect on performance in school, social relationships with other children, and/or behaviour at home.  ADHD is not the result of bad parenting or just “kids being kids”; it is a neurobiological disorder that leads to real deficits.  Proper assessment of ADHD is key as the symptoms overlap with several other disorders (ie: Oppositional Defiant Disorder).


Although indicators of giftedness are wide, some of the most common characteristics include advanced or sophisticated language skills, early reading, picks up ideas and skills swiftly, excellent memory, early development of motor skills and strong leadership skills. If your child shows these traits before heading into preschool, an assessment can help further understand your child’s unique gifts and potential.

Emotional Difficulties

Much like adults, every child/teen faces emotional difficulties from time to time. However, there comes a point where we may notice our child is simply not ‘growing out’ of these emotions. Such difficulties may include intense mood swings, impulsiveness and repetitive behaviors, depression, anxiety and irritability. It is important for them to learn about triggers and gain tools and strategies to cope better.

Social Difficulties

Social anxieties are quite common and can manifest in a number of ways. Sometimes a child may cry and throw a tantrum when confronted with a social situation that terrifies them, which can also trigger physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating and shortness of breath. Others include a fear of being judged, struggles with social skills, difficulty getting along with peers, experiencing intense worry before going into a social setting, or avoiding social situations altogether.

Defiant and Strong-Willed Kids

Some characteristics of a strong-willed or defiant child may include ‘bossiness’, oftentimes ignore the word ‘no’, refuse to do as they’re told and have a tendency to make their own rules.

Parent-Child Relationship Problems

In today’s modern world, nurturing the parent-child relationship can be difficult. It is important that parents and children/teens have a healthy relationship with good communication.

Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma can happen at any age. It may manifest through unreasonable fear, strong anger or rage, recurring nightmares, changes in eating or sleeping habits, or troubles focusing in school and at home.

Issues Related to Divorce

When facing a divorce, a child is more vulnerable to developing a wide variety of social, behavioural, emotional, and academic problems.  For some children and teens, these difficulties are short-lived. For others, however, the road to becoming well-adjusted is longer and paved with obstacles. It is important to help, children and parents develop an understanding and acceptance of their new “normal”. New routines can help a struggling family regain a sense of stability and control.

Aggressive Behaviour

Aggression may be an indication of an underlying concern. A few common behaviors include anxiety, moodiness, agitation, troubles with concentration and attention, threatening behavior, social withdrawal, and personality fluctuations.


Signs of bullying may not always be evident, as there often is not a single tell-tale sign to indicate for certain that your child or teen is being bullied. Some things we as parents can watch out for are sudden changes in behaviour, unexplained injuries, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, nightmares, substance abuse, or missing school.

Do you suspect your child or teen is the bully? Aggression towards siblings, pets, friends or even yourself, little concern for other people’s feelings, manipulative behavior and unexplained objects and money could signal that your child or teen is the bully.

Suicidal Ideation

Children and teens with suicidal ideation may not ask for help, however, that doesn’t mean help isn’t needed or wanted. Some behaviours of suicidal ideation include, but aren’t limited to, talking about death and dying, decreased social contact, withdrawal from once pleasurable activities, saying goodbye to loved ones, preoccupation to death and dying, self-loathing, paranoia and sudden changes in personality.