The Evaluation And Treatment Of Learning Disorders In Children And Adolescents

Learning Disorders

Approximately 5 percent of students in public schools are determined as having some type ofLearning Disorder. The diagnosis is usually made in the early grades of primary school when the specific deficits in growing basic skills first become obvious .Learning disorders may not be identified until the later grades inchildrenwith especially high IQs whose intelligence may render something of a buffer until they are faced with more advanced learning tasks.

Learning Disordersconstitute achild’sinability to develop and perform the skills of reading, writing, or arithmetic far below what is expected given his or her age, IQ, and schooling.Reading disorder, also known as Dyslexia, is featured by slow reading speed and problems with comprehension and reading accuracy . TheDisorders of Written Expression are characterized by difficulties with spelling, grammar, and paragraph organization. Individuals withMathematic Disorderhave problems learning to count, copy numbers, perform simple calculations, and think spatially.

Learning Disordersare specific and circumscribed deficits as opposed to Mental Retardation, which includes problems in most of the intellectual functions that reflect general intelligence. No one is perfect in reading, writing, or arithmetic. Learning disorders must be segregated from normal variations in academic achievement as well as from scholastic difficulties due to a lack of educational opportunity, poor motivation, or inadequate teaching. Learning Disorder does not refer to the expectable range of strengths and weaknesses in various school subjects that all of us have. For instance, a child who is a math whiz but relatively less skilled at reading does not have aReading Disorder. Parents and kids often put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect at everything, and may assume that anything less than great result must constitute a problem.

The recent emphasis onLearning Disordershas been useful in identifyingchildrenthat require special services in school and that might otherwise fall through the cracks. Early detection and repairing education can help correct many learning disabilities and reduce the child’s tendency to become dejected, feel dumb, have low frustration tolerance, and lose interest in school. However, the label is sometimes loosely employed to children who are doing just fine but not well enough to fill their own or their parents’ perfectionist expectations . The diagnosis should be made only after careful individualized testing, especially in borderline cases.