7 Common Learning Disabilities Myths and Facts
Learning disabilities are common – one to 19 per cent of school-going children in India have a learning disability – but are usually misunderstood. As a result, parents tend to be clueless about the correct diagnosis around learning disabilities and create a wrong assessment about the ever-changing patterns of their child’s behaviour. Below we list seven common learning disabilities myths and facts that need to be identified before any further engagement begins.
Learning Disabilities Myths and Facts
Children are just lazy or unintelligent
Learning disabilities are not outcomes of just “kids being lazy.” Having these issues does not mean a child is not intelligent. Children with learning and attention issues may be just as bright and work harder than their peers, but the results might not show. With proper intervention, accommodations and support, children with learning disabilities can succeed in life.
Learning disabilities are a cause of low vision or hearing
Sometimes people mix up learning disabilities with other conditions, e.g. people attribute learning disabilities to low vision or hearing. Some learning disabilities and co-morbidities like ADHD may indeed result from how the brain processes sights and sounds, but this is not the same as having poor eyesight or hearing, which corrective aids may improve.
A child must be sufficiently literate to get a diagnosis
It is also a common myth that for diagnosis of learning disabilities, a child must be fully literate, i.e. after a child has experienced years of academic underachievement. Instead, a child starts showing signs of learning disabilities as early as age three. Identifying a learning challenge as soon as possible is crucial because early educational and other interventions are much more likely to yield long-term gains than those implemented at higher grades or in adulthood.
Children can outgrow their learning disabilities
Another prevalent myth is that children with learning disabilities will outgrow them in adulthood. Learning disabilities are not curable; instead, some adults adopt coping mechanisms and strategies to reduce the impact of their learning disabilities, while some continue to struggle through their adulthood.
Children with learning disabilities have low IQ
Children with learning disabilities or ADHD generally have average or above-average IQ, but they can impact the way children receive and process information. As a result, it affects their ability to learn necessary skills like reading, writing, maths and social skills.
Children with learning disabilities cannot have successful careers
Children with learning disabilities and ADHD generally have average or above intelligence. However, with appropriate support and intervention, they can significantly manage their learning disabilities and succeed in school, home, and work. Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Richard Branson, Keira Knightley, Jay Leno, and Albert Einstein are just a few examples of successful adults with learning disabilities.
Lack of parental involvement causes learning disabilities
While the specific reason for learning disabilities is not entirely known, it is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to receive, store and process information. Learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are not a result of where or how a child grows up. They are also not caused due to watching too much TV or eating a poor diet. Receiving childhood vaccines or lack of early parent or teacher involvement also do not cause learning disabilities.
Now that you are aware of the common learning disabilities myths and facts, be on a lookout for signs of learning disabilities in your children and keep a note.