Learning disabilities and intelligence

Most parents want their children to grow up and become intelligent, successful adults. This desire, however, may leave some parents frustrated. If their child is struggling with homework, not earning good grades or has a hard time socializing, parents may be at a loss for what to do. Before jumping to conclusions, it's important for parents to understand why their child is struggling. Having an average or even high IQ does not disqualify kids from developing a learning disability. Here are a few important distinctions to make between the two, but be sure to seek the help of a doctor:

Defining learning disabilities
LDs are not the same as learning disorders, rather they encompass numerous disorders. LDs then are the umbrella that covers disabilities in reading, writing, math, etc. LDs do not include disorders related to visual, motor or hearing disabilities. Doctors believe the disorders are caused by the person's brain being unable to process information the way most others do. As a result, when a child struggles in school, teachers and parents may be at a loss for why.

Seeking diagnosis
Because there are many LDs and they are so subtle, diagnosing one is difficult. You can detect warning signs, such as trouble rhyming or a limited vocabulary, for dyslexia. However, if you worry your child has an LD, your best option is to seek the opinion of a specialist.

Intelligence and learning disabilities
Unfortunately, many people immediately blame intelligence when a child struggles in school. When it comes to LDs, kids actually are smart. In fact, the very definition of a LD requires that the diagnosed person has an average or higher IQ. Those who have a low IQ do not fall in the LD category. Therefore, if your child is smart but is having a hard time picking up reading, he or she might have an LD. 

Children with LDs who may not do well in school aren't necessarily unmotivated. They could be putting in a lot of effort toward learning class materials but are unable to grasp it due to their LD. It's important to note these students are hard workers. 

Benefits of diagnosis
If you worry your child has an LD, you should seek the opinion of a specialized doctor. Getting a diagnosis can greatly help your child in school. His or her teacher will be better equipped to help, your child may have access to a tutor at school and you'll rest easy knowing your child is smart and hard-working.

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