Learning differences are discovered and diagnosed at various points in a student’s education, or even as an adult.

In many instances, parents or teachers notice signs of a child’s learning difference at a young age. Some students can mask their learning difference through hard work, until the rigor and demands of the curriculum become too difficult to manage.

Learning differences occur in five to fifteen percent of the population. Research has shown that learning differences are often hereditary. When reviewing testing results, it is not unusual to hear a parent remark, “That sounds just like me!”

What is a learning difference?

A learning difference is often explained as unexpected underachievement in a certain area. For example, the student may be an excellent reader, but struggles in math. Or a student may be able to answer questions when a story is read aloud, but struggles with questions when reading silently.

Students with learning differences are often mislabeled as lazy. In reality, they are students who are bright and articulate but can’t get their thoughts down on paper.  Learning differences are not related to an individual’s intelligence. However, people who have learning differences often have a weakness in one particular area of processing, such as working memory or processing speed.

Often students with undiagnosed learning differences lose confidence and don’t feel like they are as smart as their classmates. This can cause a student to become frustrated and shut down, or act out in class. If you are noticing signs of a learning difference it may be time to have your child evaluated so you can receive strategies and recommendations to help them thrive in school.