Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. Research shows that 8 to 10 percent of American children under 18 years of age have some type of learning disability.
The most common treatment for learning disabilities is special education. Specially trained educators may perform a diagnostic educational evaluation assessing the child's academic and intellectual potential and level of academic performance. Once the evaluation is complete, the basic approach is to teach learning skills by building on the child's abilities and strengths while correcting and compensating for disabilities and weaknesses. Other professionals such as speech and language therapists also may be involved. Some medications may be effective in helping the child learn by enhancing attention and concentration. Psychological therapies may also be used.
Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions. In some people, several overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Other people may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on their lives.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support research learning disabilities through grants to major research institutions across the country. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat learning disabilities and increase understanding of their biological basis. Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlusLearning Disabilities
CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
4601 Presidents Drive
Lanham, MD 20706
Works to improve the lives of people affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) through collaborative leadership, advocacy, research, education, and support and offers the National Resource Center on AD/HD at www.help4adhd.org.
International Dyslexia Association
40 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21204
Promotes effective teaching approaches and related clinical educational intervention strategies for people with dyslexia; supports and encourages interdisciplinary study and research; and facilitates exploration of the causes and early identification of dyslexia. Committed to the responsible and wide dissemination of research-based knowledge.
Learning Disabilities Association of America
4156 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349
Dedicated to identifying causes and promoting prevention of learning disabilities and to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families by encouraging effective identification and intervention, fostering research, and protecting their rights under the law.
National Center for Learning Disabilities
1 Thomas Circle, N.W., $700
Washington, DC 20005
Provides information to parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to foster learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities.
Information sourced through CNF’s partnership with The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), US National Institutes of Health.