A learning disability is a neurological condition which affects the brain’s ability to send, receive, and process information. A child with a learning disability may have difficulties in reading, writing, speaking, listening, understanding mathematical concepts, and with general comprehension. Learning disabilities include a group of disorders such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Each type of disorder may coexist with another.
Note: Learning disabilities are not caused due to physical or mental illness, economic condition, or cultural background; neither do they indicate that the child is weak or lazy.
According to leading Pediatric Neurologist – Dr. Krupa Torne, there is no single, specific cause for learning disabilities. However, there are some factors that could cause a learning disability:
- Heredity: It is observed that a child, whose parents have had a learning disability, is likely to develop the same disorder.
- Illness during and after birth: An illness or injury during or after birth may cause learnign disabilities. Other possible factors could be drug or alcohol consumption during pregnancy, physical trauma, poor growth in the uterus, low birth weight, and premature or prolonged labor.
- Stress during infancy: A stressful incident after birth such as high fever, head injury, or poor nutrition.
- Environment: Increased exposure to toxins such as lead (in paint, ceramics, toys, etc.)
- Comorbidity: Children with learning disabilities are at a higher-than-average risk for attentional problems or disruptive behavior disorders. Up to 25 percent of children with reading disorder also have ADHD. Conversely, it is estimated that between 15 and 30 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have a learning disorder.