NOTE: This test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.
Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with ADHD have a learning disability (LD). The reverse is also true. Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with LD have ADHD. If a child has been diagnosed with ADHD and continues to struggle academically even with treatment, he may have an LD.
LD is a neurologically based disorder that results in problems processing and using information. Different children have different patterns of learning strengths and weaknesses; there is no one profile that describes all children. Here is a checklist that will give you clues about whether your child has an LD.
Elementary SchoolKindergarten to Fourth Grade
Fifth and Sixth Grades
What To Do If You Suspect LD
If you've checked off a majority of these statements, discuss your concerns with the teacher. Most public schools use a three-tier model for evaluating students.
- First, the teacher observes your child. If he or she agrees with your concerns, a special education teacher will observe your child in class.
- Modified teaching strategies may be tried.
- If the special-ed teacher agrees, a formal evaluation should be done to determine if your son or daughter has an LD.
If your child's teacher does not respond to your concerns, speak with the principal. (If your child is in a private school, you are entitled to speak to the principal of the public school your child would have gone to and request help.)
The principal should set up a meeting of school professionals to discuss your child and your concerns. Ideally, this group of professionals will agree and conduct an evaluation, which might initially consist of observation and trial interventions. If the interventions aren't successful, a full battery of testing, called a psycho-educational evaluation, should be done.
You may opt to hire your own professional to do a psycho-educational evaluation. If the results confirm your concerns, this professional should meet with the special-ed team back to ask that these findings be reconsidered.
For more resources on learning disabilities, see: