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3. 8-12 Years Print this page

3. 8-12 Years

At this age, your child is socialising more at school, in the community and with family and friends.  There are many services available to help a child living with a disabiilty to be supported within their school, home or community. 

Discuss local services with your general practitioner.

What to look out for

If your child is having problems with the following areas, they may be warning signs for a learning or developmental delay, speak to your general practioner about your concerns.

Speaking - mispronunciations and slow word finding, e.g. says "flustrated" instead of frustrated or "pacific" instead of specific.

Auditory memory - difficulty remembering multiple-step directions; difficulty remembering alphabet in head for phonebook, and dictionary use; easily forgets telephone numbers.

Reading - slow, avoids it; relies on sight words; guesses words from story content.

Spelling - forgets spelling words after spelling tests, many errors when spelling words, commonly leaves out or adds letters to words.

Writing - avoids writing; only write when he/she has to, sentences are short; avoids job promotions that would require more writing

Handwriting - very messy letter formation, awkward pencil grip.

Language expression - difficulty putting thoughts/ideas into words; can be hard to understand him/her because their story's sequence is not logical or not easy to follow.

Focus - trouble concentrating; wears out before task is done.

Achievement tests - discrepancy between performance in math vs. reading, very poor spelling performance, verbal language skills are much better than performance on written achievement tests.

Self esteem - increasing frustration and poor self-esteem, commonly hides reading or spelling difficulties from others, self-described as a "black cloud" hanging over their head that they don't want others to know about.


The Australian Institute of Family Studies has a number of research papers on children with disabilities in the 8-12 years area -

Raising Children Network Learning Disabilities in Adolescences -

Association for Children with a Disability offer a Transition to Secondary School booklet -

Aussie Deaf Kids – parent friendly information from birth to post school -

Kids Matter – Mental health and wellbeing for children -

Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 -

Family Relationship Advice Line  1800 050 321 from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, except national public holidays

Livewire (A community for young people with chronic illnesses) -

Young Carers Assists your carers with support -


Cypersafety internet program -

Hector's World Keeping kids safe on line -

School Age Years Inclusion Support

Lifestart -