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7 Long Term Effects of an Undiagnosed Learning Disorder

Returning to School Hints and Tricks.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, Would My Child Benefit from a Psychological Assessment? many common symptoms of anxiety, depression, and ADHD, are actually symptoms of an underlying learning disorder.

Mom and Child reading quote says Do You Know the Common symptoms of an underlying learning disorder

Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming more and more common.

1. A child is struggling in school, shows symptoms of anxiety or ADHD, this child is then incorrectly diagnosed with one of those conditions by a teacher, school counsellor, or a doctor. Then 2 or 3 years of interventions for anxiety or ADHD are implemented with no clear progress for the child.

2. Then, after 2 or 3 highly frustrating years, the parent will then request a psychological – educational assessment, and are surprised to learn that their child is been incorrectly diagnosed when really, they had an underlying learning disorder.

3. Now the child has missed out of years of valuable intervention time and has likely lost ground, as their peers continue to make progress.

4. The child has now spent 2 or 3 years believing they have anxiety or ADHD, and has likely developed symptoms, simply because they believe they have it.

5. The family and child can often feel very surprised and confused when the new information is presented, and even resist the new diagnosis.

Now the actual cause, the dreaded un-diagnosed specific learning disorder can finally be treated.

Undiagnosed learning disorders can have long term effects on many children, including:

1. Academic Struggles - will have difficulties with their academic achievement, and will become increasing combative, frustrated, act out, defiant, or withdrawn, reclusive, sad and disheartened.

2. Emotional Impact - children may experience anxiety, depression, or social isolation due to their struggles in school.

3. Missed Opportunities - addressing learning challenges effectively and preventing further academic setbacks (when non-targeted interventions occur, children can fall further and further behind).

4. Low self Esteem – children may internalize their difficulties as personal failures, affecting their self-concept and self-worth.

5. Misattributed Behaviour - fall victim to being told that they’re not working hard enough, that they’re not paying attention, or that they do not care.

6. Parental Frustration - parents may become frustrated at their child’s lack of progress, which constrain parent-child relationships and create tension at home

7. Long-term Consequences - can have lasting consequences affecting education and potential career opportunities in adulthood, which can affect these children well into their professional lives.

Early identification and intervention are essential to help individuals with learning disorders unlock their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. It's crucial for educators, parents, and healthcare professionals to work together to identify and support individuals with learning disorders as early as possible.

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“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” —Malcolm Forbes

Come heal, grow and create together

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