Learning disorders are problems with your brain’s ability to get, remember, or use information. These problems make it hard to focus and do well in school.
Children with learning disorders often have normal or high intelligence but have problems with a specific skill
Learning disorders are different from intellectual disability (when you are born with lower than normal intelligence that makes it hard to carry out daily activities)
Doctors will send your child for a series of tests to see if your child has a learning disorder
Certain school programs can help your child with subjects they have trouble with
Common learning disorders are:
Reading disorders, such as dyslexia
Children who aren't learning at the level appropriate to their age and ability should have testing for learning disorders.
Young children with learning disorders may take longer than usual to learn:
Children may also have:
Some children with learning disorders may become frustrated at school, causing behavioral problems, such as being hyperactive, shy, or aggressive.
Children with dyslexia, one type of reading disorder, have symptoms like:
Doctors will test your child’s hearing and eyesight to make sure they aren't the cause of your child’s learning problems (hearing and vision problems aren't learning disorders). Doctors will check for other medical problems.
To tell for sure, they’ll send your child to a learning specialist (often at the child’s school) who will do a series of intelligence tests and ask your child reading, writing, and math questions.
Learning disorders are treated through educational programs that help your child learn. For example, dyslexia is treated with programs that teach your child to identify words by paying attention to the sounds, and by using audio books, computer screen readers, and other tools.
Some children with learning disorders also have ADHD. If your child does, doctors may suggest:
In the United States, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to test children for learning disorders and provide free and appropriate education to children and adolescents with learning disorders.