Children's Study Initiative

Devoted to Children with Learning Disabilities

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.

As per the International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) by the World Health Organization, learning disorders are termed as Specific Developmental Disorders of Scholastic Skills. Children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills have specific and significant impairment in learning of scholastic skills. These impairments are not the direct result of subnormal intelligence, visual or hearing defects, physical disorders, emotional disturbances or lack of adequate opportunities for learning these skills. Specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills are of 4 types: Specific reading disorder, specific spelling disorder, specific disorder of arithmetical skills and mixed disorder of scholastic skills.

Specific Reading Disorder

The main feature of this disorder is the specific and significant impairment in the development of reading skills. Reading performance should be significantly below the level expected on the basis of age, general intelligence and school placement. There may also be deficits in reading comprehension. Reading disorder is almost always the result of deficits in processing sound units and sound symbol relationships. Children with reading disorder have difficulty with phonologic processing.

Specific Spelling Disorder

There is a specific and significant impairment in the development of spelling skills. Ability to spell orally and to write out words correctly are both affected. It may be associated with grammatical errors, punctuation errors, poor paragraph organization and poor handwriting.

Specific Disorder of Arithmetical Skills

Child’s arithmetical performance should be significantly below what is expected on the basis of age, general intelligence and school placement. The arithmetical difficulties may include: failure to understand the basic concepts of arithmetical operations, lack of understanding of mathematical terms or signs, failure to recognize numerical symbols, poor spatial organization of arithmetical calculations, difficulty in properly aligning numbers and inability to learn mathematical tables satisfactorily.

Mixed Disorder of Scholastic Skills

The reading skills, spelling skills and arithmetical skills are significantly impaired in these children.