What is a learning disorder?
Commonly called dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia; fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some learning disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health. Diagnostic assessment and testing are crucially the only way to be sure of a diagnosis of a learning disorder when you are worried about your child’s academic progress.
Diagnosing a learning disorder happens when a specific ability, such as reading, is significantly lower than a students’ general knowledge, usually measured by an IQ test.
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disorders often occur at the same time and need to be evaluated at the same time as to find the cause of academic problems, but the two issues are not the same.
• Reading Disorder: About 80 percent of children with learning disorders are reading disabled which can include the ability to decode words or reading comprehension. Another term for reading or writing disorders is Dyslexia. Students with reading disorders can experience obstacles with other language skills also. It is referred to, as a learning disorder because dyslexia can make it hard for a student to succeed academically in the typical school environment, and can sometimes qualify a student for special accommodations, or extra support services.
• Disorder of Written Expression: Writing skills are weaker than general ability including the quality of written expression, spelling printing, speed, and legibility, or writing syntax. Another term for writing disorders is Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia symptoms include difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble getting thoughts on paper. Writing requires a multifaceted set of motor and information processing skills; a student with disorders in written expression can benefit from accommodations at school or where they learn.
• Mathematics Disorder: Another term for mathematics disorders is Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of life-long learning disabilities involving math. There is no single form of math disability, and difficulties vary from person to person and affect people differently in school and throughout life. Again this is a student that can benefit from accommodations or extra support in their academic career.
When seeking out a diagnosis of learning disability you want to make sure that a specialist is conducting the testing, someone familiar with the variety of mental health and academic problems that a student could have.
90% percent of diagnosed children can read well if they receive help by the first grade. 75% percent of children diagnosed who received assistance after the age of nine will have still have some difficulty throughout life. One of the most important reasons to seek help early is to help children avoid frustration and failure they experience when they don’t do well in school and don’t know why.
If you think your child has a Learning Disorder that requires diagnoses contact our office to arrange for an evaluation and assessment.