What should I do if I think my child has a learning disability?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine

There are a few steps you can take. You might:

  • Discuss how your child is doing in school with his teacher.
  • Ask your child's pediatrician how your child is developing.
  • Consider an educational evaluation.
  • Think about having a full medical evaluation by the pediatrician.
  • Be sure your child's hearing and vision are normal.

Many children are diagnosed with a learning disability. Remember that:

Your child is not alone. More than 2.5 million children ages 6 to 11 have learning disabilities in the United States.

It is not your fault. Most people with a learning disability are born with it. They have some differences in how their brain works.

Learning disabilities tend to run in families. They affect more boys than girls.

Learning disabilities take on many forms.

They can change over time. Children with learning disabilities have more trouble than their classmates with one or more of these skills:

  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Writing
  • Solving math problems
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reasoning
  • Concentrating
  • Understanding
You can create a learning plan just for your child.
Support should be available in your community.
Stay hopeful. Most children (and families) make lots of progress and are very successful, especially with proper support and programming.

Continue Learning about Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders

When a child is born with a developmental disability, sometimes called a birth defect, it means there is a chronic condition that will be a life-long challenge. Down syndrome; autism; and language, learning, vision or hearing prob...

lems are a few developmental disabilities. While these disabilities are typically present at birth, they can begin at any time up to age 22.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.