Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
A learning disability can't be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.
Facts about learning disabilities
• Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type
of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
• Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning
disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading
• Learning disabilities often run in families.
• Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as mental
retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these
conditions are learning disabilities. In addition, they should not be confused with
lack of educational opportunities like frequent changes of schools or attendance
problems. Also, children who are learning English do not necessarily have a learning
• Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and
; learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not
• 20-40% of gifted individuals have a learning disability.
Learning disabilities affect students of all ability levels. Extremely gifted people who have above average abilities in academic areas can also experience learning disabilities. These students are often referred to as “twice exceptional,” because giftedness can pose additional challenges beyond LD.