Breaking myths about learning disabilities

13 Aug, 2020
Breaking myths about learning disabilities

There is a common misconception that children with learning disabilities are not as smart as the other "normal" children. These children are often not accepted by people and are judged as not being smart enough. They face a lot of disapproval from their parents, teachers and even peers. However this is simply not true, here are some interesting facts to help you gain a better perspective: 

1.  Learning disabilities are neurological-based processing disorders. This affects one’s ability to understand or use spoken or written language, co-ordinate movements and/or do mathematical calculations. 

2.  Learning disabilities do not reflect IQ (Intelligence Quotient) or how smart a person is. They affect the ability to interpret what one hears and sees or link information to different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up as specific difficulties with written or spoken language, self-control, attention or coordination.

3.  There are many kinds of learning disabilities each with their own attributes and affecting the child in a different way. When detected early, the right remedial intervention and guidance can help the child integrate into mainstream academics.

4.  Not all learning problems fall into the category of learning disabilities. Many children are simply slower in developing certain skills.  Because children show natural differences in their rate of development, sometimes what seems to be a learning disability may simply be a delay in maturation. These are known as learning difficulties. 

5.  Nearly 10% of children in each class suffer from some form of learning difficulty.  The key is early identification, to help give them the right coping strategies to overcome their difficulties. 

6.  Learning disabilities cannot be cured or fixed it is a lifelong issue. However, with the right intervention and support children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to have successful careers. 

7.  Attention disorders, such as Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities can often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.

 

Some Common Types of Learning Disabilities:

Disability Definition Symptoms
Dyslexia Language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. Problems in reading, writing, spelling and/or speaking.
Dyscalculia A mathematical disabilityin which a person has a difficult time-solving arithmetic problem and grasping math concepts. Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money, etc.
Dysgraphia A writing disability where a person has difficulty in forming letters or writing within a defined space. Problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas
Dyspraxia (sensory integration disorder) A sensory integration disability that impacts a person’s ability to plan and process motor tasks. Problems with hand-eye coordination, balance, & manual dexterity
Auditory Processing Disorder A sensory disability in which a person has difficulty understanding what they hear, despite having normal hearing. Problems with reading, comprehension, language, etc.
Visual Processing Disorder A sensory disability in which a person has difficulty understanding visual information despite having normal vision. Problems with reading, math, map, charts, symbols, pictures, etc.

 

It is often scary to admit that your child is struggling to learn for the fear of being "labeled for life". Please know that you are not alone, research has shown an estimated 20% of school going children have some form of learning difficulty (Rehabilitation Council of India). So, keep in mind that you are in good company – not only with other parents but also with a number of experts and educators who are ready to help you.

If you suspect your child is struggling with learning, instead of dismissing him/her as being callous or "not interested in studies", seek professional help. The sooner you act on your suspicions the easier it will be for your child. If you wish to know more about your child’s learning issues, please feel free to contact us at Merittude we are happy to help.