Learning Disabilities

Approximately 4.6 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with a learning disability. This is approximately one in 59, or 1.69 percent, of the U.S. population. Nearly 4 million school-age children have learning disabilities.

A learning disability is a disorder that affects a person's ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways – as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read or write, or to do math. (Source: excerpt from Learning Disabilities NIMH)

A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence. Often someone who has a learning disability has an IQ score that falls within the normal range of intelligence. Children who have learning disabilities have trouble processing information. This effects their daily activities at school and at home. If left untreated, the challenges with having a learning disability can severely effect a child's school performance and ultimately self-esteem. However, effective treatment approaches can assist students in gaining skills needed to be successful in school and their future employment.

It is crucial to identify a learning disability as soon as possible and begin intensive treatment programs. A comprehensive evaluation is vital to identify specific learning patterns, strengths and weakness and assists professionals in development of an appropriate treatment plan. Difficulties with reading are among the various types of learning disabilities. For more information about this subject>

Scientists who study the brain's potential for change find that the earlier one begins therapy programs or tutoring to address a disability, the more likely one is to positively change the educational outcome.

Important Tips:

  • A child with a learning disability cannot just try harder or pay closer attention in order to get the skill being taught
  • A child with a learning disability cannot improve motivation on his own
  • A child with a learning disability cannot simply "grow out of it"
  • A child with a learning disability may seem more immature than peers, but this is not merely a maturity issue

For more information see the article - "I Think My Child Has a Learning Disability"

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