Children's Study Initiative

Devoted to Children with Learning Disabilities

Learning problem is common among school children and it is a matter of concern not only for children, but also for parents and teachers. Learning disorders affect about 10% of school going children. Children with learning disorders have average or above average intelligence, but they have difficulty in reading, spelling, writing or mathematical skills. Another cause for scholastic backwardness is borderline intelligence (IQ between 70 – 85%). Mild mental retardation with IQ between 50 – 70% will also cause significant learning difficulty. Other causes presenting as learning problems in school going children include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other behaviour disorders like conduct disorder. Children with reduced motivation also have scholastic backwardness.

 If not identified and corrected at the earliest, children with scholastic backwardness and learning difficulty can have tremendous academic stress and it can lead to anxiety disorders and stress related disorders like somatoform disorders. Hence all children with difficulty in learning and children presenting with scholastic backwardness need detailed individualized evaluation and professional guidance by experts from child guidance / learning disability clinics.

At the outset we have to exclude the external factors which can negatively influence learning, like family and school related stressors. Evaluation of learning disorder requires individually administered tests of intellectual ability and scholastic skills. Diagnosis is based on the presence of a significant discrepancy between the scholastic skills and the intellectual capacity of the individual. The IQ should be above 70. Other factors in the child which can lead to scholastic backwardness like siginificant behavioral and emotional problems have to be excluded.