Learning to learn, if you have a language-based processing skills (aka: a learning disability), makes learning to learn a difficult and frustrating process. Although the severity of specific learning disabilities is different for everyone, it still affects the learning process and can bring additional related disorders.

“Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with ADHD have a learning disability (LD). The reverse is also true. Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with LD have ADHD. If a child has been diagnosed with ADHD and continues to struggle academically even with treatment, he may have an LD.”
-Larry Silver, M.D.

When I am asked about Learning Disabilities, I’ m typically asked the same questions. So, I thought I would share some questions (and answers) with you:

If my son has a Learning Disability, will I be able to tell? And, if so, what types of issues will he have with learning? -BF

If a student is exhibiting processing skills, most likely you will see differences in reading fluency and/or comprehension, writing and/or spelling and recalling information and speech. Since there are many types of LD’ s, it is difficult to pinpoint a root right away, but struggles in these areas maybe a tell-tale sign of a potential LD. You can also visit ADDitudeMag for a free online test or a free checklist of clues, if you’ d like.

My daughter gets very upset when she is doing homework. Does she have a Learning Disability? -SJ

It depends on her temperament and her personality. If you are concerned she may have a Learning Disability talk to her teacher first. Teachers are typically well aware of the signs of abnormal behavior and observe peer interaction. Also, there are a couple of things you can look for when she is doing her homework: the inability to stay organized, the inability to remember information (especially in math), over-reaction to mistakes, gives up or cries when working on difficult assignments and small motor skills (writing/cutting paper/drawing). If you notice her struggling in these specific areas and getting extremely upset, you may want to visit your doctor or contact The Organizing Tutor for an assessment.

I have done some research and I am pretty sure my son has a Learning Disability. What do I do? -IG

First, take at the characteristics listed above. If those are consistent with what you see from your son and the research you have done, you will want to visit your pediatrician. He/she will talk to you first to rule out any medical reasons for learning problems (poor eye sight, hearing or something). Your doctor should direct you to have an IQ test. Then, if you choose to involve the school, request them to give your son a standard achievement test. Comparing the difference in scores from the IQ test and the standardized test will show a LD if their IQ is average or above average, but the test is below average. Comparing this test with the IQ test will also assist your doctor on the next step for treatment. Once the type of LD is identified, you, your son and his teacher can work together to help him reach his full potential.

Thank you for your questions! Keep sending them in! For a list of Signs, Symptoms and Strategies for working with Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities Association of America is a dependable resource

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