My granddaughter can tell you the sounds of each letter, but she can' seem to remember the names of the letters or remember her colors. She can't count to 10 either. She is 5 and will be 6 in March, but the school will not let her start kindergarten because of this.

She is a bright child and well behaved. She loves watching Leap Frog DVDs with the letters and sounds. When you try to teach her, she seems to think it too hard; she either tries to do it her way or wants to go play, whatever will seem to work to get her out of it. One day she might know it but most of the time not. She has three older brothers, the oldest is turning 12 in February and she has a sister that is 2 months old. She wants to go to school like her brothers.

Is there name for this, has any one else had this problem?

  • 1
    Shot into the dark here: Names of colours, names of letters, and all kind of math are quiet abstract. She knows the sounds of the letters, so she identifies them for herself just fine... how is she in general with abstract concepts? Does she, perhaps, have issues counting when there is nothing to count, but IS capable of stating that she has 2 pieces of apple?
    – Layna
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 6:57
  • 2
    Have the parents consulted their pediatrician, or got a referral to a specialist in child development?
    – Doug B
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


One possibility is a Language Processing Disorder.

A child with a language processing disorder may have problems with:

  • following multi-step directions
  • paying attention in noisy environments such as classrooms, loud parties, malls, etc
  • following spoken directions
  • rhyming, spelling, reading, writing (many kids have difficulty with written expression, finding it difficult to formulate thoughts in their head, and then somehow get them down on paper)
  • understanding and participating in conversations with peers and adults
  • vocabulary and sentence structure

Some things to do are

  1. Have the child's hearing checked by a competent qualified specialist. Mention that you suspect a language processing disorder before that check starts.

  2. Have the child assessed for a language processing disorder. Make sure they're not just checking for dyslexia.

  3. If the assessment does find a language processing disorder you should create an educational plan that includes additional a support for the child's needs, and short, easy-to-understand information about the child's needs and diagnosis for all teachers who have to deal with the child.

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