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A student may have a learning disorder if his/her achievement in reading, writing, or mathematics falls below what is expected for the child’s age, grade level, and intelligence. To be called a learning disorder, the problems must have a negative impact on the person’s academic success or another important area of life requiring math, reading, or writing skills.
There are three major types of learning disorders:
In addition to the problems associated with the specific type of learning disorder, many students also suffer from:
Learning disorders may also be associated with:
Learning disorders can affect both males and females. However, in the United States more boys than girls are diagnosed with learning disorders.
Although learning disorders are most likely present when a child is quite young, the specific type of learning disorder is usually diagnosed in early elementary school when reading, math, and writing begin to be used in the classroom.
About five percent (5%) of students in the United States have learning disorders.
Because standardized, group testing is not accurate enough for this purpose, it is very important that special, psychoeducational tests be individually administered to the child to determine if he/she has a learning disorder. In administering the test, the examiner should give special attention to the child’s ethnic and cultural background.
Learning disorders are treated with specialized educational methods. In addition to special classroom instruction at school, students with learning disorders frequently benefit from individualized tutoring which focuses on their specific learning problem.
If you, a friend, or a family member would like more information and you have a therapist or a physician, please discuss your concerns with that person.
Developed by John L. Miller, MD