(as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics)
Learning disabilities are generally thought of as a child’s failure to develop specific academic skills at the expected level in spite of adequate intelligence and education. ADHD itself is not a learning disorder. Although there is increasing controversy about how learning disorders should be defined, they are generally diagnosed by showing that there is a significant discrepancy between a child’s cognitive abilities, as measured by standard IQ tests, and her actual learning, as measured on standardized individual achievement tests in reading, mathematics, and written expression.
Nonverbal learning disabilities are not generally included in the standard definitions of learning disability, but are important to consider especially when children have coexisting problems with attention. About 40% of children with ADHD experience such learning challenges as work production problems and organizing difficulties that are categorized as learning “problems,” not disabilities.
Children with a learning, motor skills, or communication disability may benefit from
- an in-class aide or other classroom support
- an altered curriculum
- special education classes
- pullout time
- speech/language therapy
- occupational therapy
- adaptive physical education.
- positive behavior management plan
Many of these services must be provided free of charge by your school district if your child qualifies for coverage by the Individuals with Disabilities Act or Section 504. Your child’s pediatrician can also refer your child to private sources for evaluation and help.
For more on this topic, please visit: Learning Disorders