Learning disabilities are usually first noticed when children begin to fail in school. Parents and preschool teachers are often the first to see early signs of learning disabilities. Children may have difficulty learning basic skills in reading or understanding reading. Difficulty writing, math, or language may also signal a problem. Some students may easily learn basic skills but have difficulty applying skills in problem solving or higher level school work.
Living with learning disabilities can be a painful struggle for both the parents and the child. In many cases, parents are relieved to find an answer when children are diagnosed. The diagnosis is reassuring because it leads to additional support in school through specially trained teachers and special education programs. Students with learning disabilities will also have individual education programs developed to address their needs.
Learning disabilities are believed to be caused by neurological differences in the way the brain processes information. Simply put, a person has a learning disability when his ability to learn an academic area is much lower than expected for his level of intelligence. It is a common misconception about learning disabilities that people who have them cannot learn or are less intelligent than their peers. Actually, this is not the case. People with learning disabilities are actually as intelligent as their peers. In fact, it is even possible to have a learning disability and be gifted as well. The actual difference is that people with learning disabilities learn differently and may need a variety of instructional practices to learn effectively.
In the diagnosis of learning disabilities, the discrepancy is usually determined through assessment to determine the child's intelligence quotient, or IQ score, and his achievement test scores in specific academic areas of reading, math, and written language. Language processing, listening comprehension, and oral expression may also be assessed.
Are Learning Disabilities Biological?
True learning disabilities (LDs) are believed to be an organic type of disability resulting from neurological processing problems that cause difficulty with learning and applying skills in one or more academic areas. Evidence suggests that a child's chances of having a learning disability increase when parents or other relatives also have learning disabilities. This suggests that heredity may play a role in some cases. However, there are other possible causes of LDs that can be prevented in some cases.