Did you know that the nearly 7 million disabled students in the U.S. make up 14% of national public school enrollment? Learning disabilities are not rare, but they’re overwhelmingly misunderstood.
If their child is diagnosed with a learning disability, many parents assume that they are destined to drop out of school, will never “catch up” in life, or will simply grow out of it someday. While the state of special education in the U.S. doesn’t stack up to other countries, basing these fears primarily on misconceptions.
Consider these five myths are learning disabilities debunked.
You’ll “just know” if your child has a learning disability.
Children learn and grow at their own pace, so a delayed start to reading or some mispronounced words is typically no cause for concern. But if your child consistently struggles in the same subject areas, it’s best to have them formally evaluated for a learning disability. There’s no one test or scan that can pinpoint thinking or learning differences, let alone intuition. But if your child does have a learning disability, the sooner they are diagnosed, the better. This will give them more time to access the support services and accommodations they need to succeed.
Kids with learning disabilities are lazy.
Children with learning disabilities have brain-based differences, not motivational problems. Their brains have trouble focusing and making sense of language, written words, numbers, and “trying harder” doesn’t help. Luckily, children have higher neuroplasticity rates than adults, meaning their brains can be re-trained to process information in new and effective ways with licensed specialists’ help.
Children with learning disabilities will only struggle in school.
Because the word “learning” appears in the term, it’s easy to assume school is the only trouble spot for students with learning disabilities. But some thinking and learning differences also affect their social skills, ability to read body language, organizational habits, or impulse management.
Children grow out of their learning disabilities.
Brain-based differences never really go away, but with the proper support and education, many individuals learn to cope with and compensate for their disabilities over time. Even so, they may find in-office accommodations or community-based support services helpful.
Learning disabilities denote a lack of intelligence.
This is one of the most harmful and misguided rumors about learning disabilities out there. Learning disabilities are differences that do not stem from diminished cognitive ability. People with learning disabilities have all the necessary hardware to do and learn well, but their brains retrieve, interpret, organize, and distribute information uniquely. Many people with learning disabilities have average or above-average intelligence and can be highly innovative. Need proof that people with learning disabilities can succeed? Look at Anderson Cooper, Whoopi Goldberg, Henry Winkler, and Richard Branson.
While all kids learn and grow at their own pace, some may continue to struggle with particular skills. Our expert team at LifeROOTS offers individualized programs and services that can help children with disabilities thrive and reach their fullest potential. Please contact us for more information at (505) 314-8520 on any of our children’s services, including our early intervention sessions, therapy programs, and educational playgroups – and see how we can help.