-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Up to 10 percent of
children -- two or three kids in every classroom -- are thought to
have learning disabilities, and a new review finds these
disabilities have complex causes and suggests possible
Children frequently have more than one learning disability, the
research showed. For example, 33 percent to 45 percent of children
with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have
dyslexia and 11 percent also have dyscalculia.
Dyslexia is a reading, writing and spelling disability while
dyscalculia is a math learning disability.
The study, published April 18 in the journal
Science, outlines the underlying causes of learning
disabilities and the best way to tailor individual teaching and
learning for affected children. It also discusses how best to train
teachers, school psychologists and doctors who deal with these
The researchers said that specific learning disabilities (SLDs)
are the result of abnormal brain development caused by complicated
genetic and environmental factors. This leads to conditions as
dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and specific
"We now know that there are many disorders of neurological development that can give rise to learning disabilities, even in children of normal or even high intelligence, and that crucially these disabilities can also co-occur far more often that you'd expect based on their prevalence," study author Brian Butterworth, a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience of the University College London, said in a university news release.
In one example from the study, it might not be recognized that a
child known to have ADHD also has dyslexia. By attributing reading
problems to ADHD and treating it alone, teachers may not provide
the specific learning program the child needs.
Researchers are "finally beginning to find effective ways to
help learners with one or more SLDs, and although the majority of
learners can usually adapt to the one-size-fits-all approach of
whole class teaching, those with SLDs will need specialized support
tailored to their unique combination of disabilities," Butterworth
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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