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Specific learning disorder is a developmental disorder that begins by school-age, although it may not be recognized until later. It involves ongoing problems learning key academic skills, including reading, writing and math.
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Peer support refers to people with the same types of problems helping each other. The concept of peer support has been used for many years among people with addictions, for example in Alcoholic Anonymous where people with “lived experience” help others to recover. The use of peer support with people with mental illness is more recent, particularly peer support in a professional capacity as part of the mental health care team.
You may be familiar with online access to your medical records and possibly to your doctor’s notes. More than 12 million Americans now have online access to their health care provider’s clinical notes. This access is referred to as OpenNotes.
Virtual reality technology is also used in simulators for training and it is increasingly being used to help people with mental illness. While it has been used for some time treating people with phobias, advances in technology and greater availability are facilitating expanded use in mental health treatment.
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Additude: Attention Deficit and Learning Disabilities
My daughter (4th grade) struggles with reading. I am concerned she may have a learning disorder. Her teacher tells me not to worry about it. Where do I go to find out if she has a problem that can be addressed?
Learning disorders are present when a significant difference exists between a student’s intelligence and her academic performance. The best way to determine the presence of a learning disorder is to have your child undergo academic testing. (Also be sure to rule out any problems with vision.) Your school district can arrange for testing but children must meet certain criteria. Some parents seek evaluation by psychologists or other educational specialists in the community. I would suggest that you pursue having academic testing to get a clear answer for your concerns. Read More
After several years of struggling in math, my son has been diagnosed as having a learning disability in math. Now what? What type of special services will help him? How can I help him and be sure he is getting the help he needs at school?
Federal law mandates that students who have learning disabilities receive assistance in the public schools. Special services include extended time for tests and projects, which can benefit a student with a learning disability. Individual time with a teacher to help your son with learning in math is often added in school settings. Some schools will provide before and after school tutoring times as well. As a parent, you can help your son by staying in close communication with his teacher to see how he is making progress. You can check in daily with your son to hear his perceptions as to how he is learning. Many communities have tutoring programs in which your child can have additional learning opportunities during his summer break to strengthen his math skills. Get information about and take advantage of the resources in both your school system and your community to help your child. Read More
As an adult, I think I may have had a learning disability in reading – is there somewhere I can go to get tested (just for my own understanding)? And if so, is there anything I can do at this point to make reading easier for me?
The best way to get a clear understanding of your ability in reading as an adult is to have educational testing. A psychologist or educational diagnostician can provide an assessment and clarify whether you have a learning disability in reading. And yes, there are things you can do to improve your proficiency in reading. Having an understanding of the specific difficulties you may have in reading can assist your evaluator in giving you recommendations of ways in which you can improve your reading skills. Read More
About the Expert:
Debra Atkisson, M.D. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Benbrook, Texas
Gina was 12 years old and finishing 6th grade. Her grades had been straight As in all her classes until 5th grade. Then she began struggling with reading and writing assignments and her grades dropped to Bs. In 6th grade her grades declined further to Cs. Her mother had been working with her at home and had noted that Gina was taking much longer to finish her reading assignments. Read More
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FEB 23, 2017
College — and paying for it — is tough enough for students who don't face the challenges of physical or learning disabilities. But neither these disabilities nor financial barriers should prevent deserving students from pursuing college. A number of scholarships are available for students with a learning disability, including dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or specific learning disabilities.
FEB 2, 2017
Parents often believe a learning disability means their child has a lower IQ than average. If you are a parent with school-age children, you may have experienced a time when your child had a hard time with a certain subject or class at school. Sometimes, though, a child will struggle with processing different types of verbal or non-verbal information. This can indicate that a child has a learning disability. Learning disabilities manifest uniquely in each child and can range in severity.
JAN 31, 2017
We need to move beyond debating the existence of dyslexia and instead focus on best practice for teaching dyslexic students, argues psychologist Christopher Rossiter. The key indicators of dyslexia, categorized under the umbrella term Specific Learning Disorder, are word retrieval difficulties; poor phonemic awareness; difficulties with word reading, especially under time constraints; and poor spelling.
Understood: For Learning and Attention Issues
Learning Disabilities Association of America: Parent Resources
Center for Parent Information and Resources
National Institute on Child Health and Development (NIH): Learning Disabilities
International Dyslexia Association
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Facts for Families: Learning Disorders
Physician Review By:
Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H.