Myths and Misconceptions of Learning Disabilities
There are many mistaken ideas about Learning Disabilities (LD, NLD, EFD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These myths and misconceptions can stand in the way of your child's progress.
Myth: Children with learning disabilities are identified in kindergarten and first grade.
Reality: Learning disabilities often go unrecognized for years; most are not identified until 3rd grade. Bright children can "mask" their difficulties; and some kinds of learning problems may not surface until middle school, high school or even college.
Myth: More boys than girls have learning disabilities.
Reality: Although four times as many boys as girls are identified by schools as having learning disabilities, research studies suggest that many girls who are not identified also have the most common form of learning problem — difficulty with reading. Many girls' learning difficulties are neither identified nor treated.
Myth: Kids who have trouble learning to read or write or spell, to follow directions, to recite the months of the year, or to tell right from left, just aren't as smart as other kids.
Reality: Kids with learning disabilities are just as smart as other kids. Many have intellectual, artistic or other abilities that also permit them to be defined as gifted.
Myth: When children are suspected of having some kind of learning difficulty, it's reasonable to wait and see if they will "grow out of" it.
Reality: Learning disabilities cannot be outgrown, but they can be identified reliably in kindergarten or 1st grade, or even earlier. Research clearly demonstrates that the earlier a child is given appropriate help for a learning disability, the more successful the outcome.
Myth: Bright kids described as underachievers in middle or high school generally have emotional problems or just don't care enough about school to do their best.
Reality: There are a number of possible causes of underachievement. However, it is not unusual to find bright kids in high school or even in college with undetected learning disabilities and/or attention-deficit disorders, which substantially affect their ability to perform well in school.
“The best predictor of success is not grades or aptitude scores, but the energy and commitment children devote to their interests and extracurricular activities.”
— Dr. Susan Baum, Ph.D.Co-Author, To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled
Member, Smart Kids with LD Professional Advisory Board
Reprinted with the permission of Smart Kids with LD. © Smart Kids with LD, Inc., Westport, Connecticut. All rights reserved.
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