Children with learning disabilities need support—not misunderstanding.
Children struggling with learning disabilities face many challenges in the educational system—and beyond. What we understand about learning disabilities—and maybe more importantly, what we misunderstand about them—has a big impact on how successfully children navigate these challenges.
It’s worth spending some time familiarizing yourself with the impacts and realities of life with learning disabilities. Here are three statistics from the National Center for Learning Disabilities that reveal exactly that:
1. Hidden Challenges: 91 percent of people have heard of dyslexia, but 66 percent aren’t familiar with dysgraphia, dyscalculia, or dyspraxia.
Dyslexia, the most recognized learning disability, involves trouble with reading. But did you know that children can also suffer from difficulties writing legibly or quickly enough, understanding numerical concepts, or planning and performing tasks that involve fine motor control?
2. Misunderstandings About Intelligence: 70 percent of parents and educators link learning disabilities with intellectual disabilities.
Of course, having a specific learning disability says nothing about a child’s capacity for intelligence. It just means certain activities may be more difficult or require a different pace or approach. Learning disabilities do not correlate with intelligence.
3. Parental Stress: 35 percent of parents with children who have learning disabilities feel “serious concern” over their ability to cope with their children’s challenges.
Unfortunately, the burden parents of children with learning disabilities carry is heavy. Their stressors can include the perception that schools don’t sufficiently screen for learning disabilities and the reality that their children are often targeted for bullying.