Child Behavior Forum
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Avatar universal

Learning Disabled or Not?

  I have a 14 year old daughter with ADHD.  She is taking dexedrine and
  and paxil.  She is on an Individual Education Plan at school and up until recently had fairly consist
  grades.  2 years ago the scholl wanted to have her tested and they told me
  she has a learning disability in reading and writing although she had an average
  IQ.  Is this possible?  I just had her retested by a psychologist who I trust
  completely and was told that She is learning disabled in reading, spelling and math.
  She is on a 4.8 grade level in reading, 5.1 in math and 4.5 in spelling.  She still has
  an average IQ.  Why?  Is she really disabled?  Does she need LD classes?
  She is very forgetful, inattentive, easily irritated and often quick to anger.  She says
  that she knows that she knows that she is not like the other kids but she just wants to be.
  She is a very pretty child with a lovely singing voice and a very loving disposition with
  people that she feels secure with.  What do I need to do to help her?  She is fast growing
  up and I need to know that should something happen to me (I have very bad health problems) that she will
  be able to care and provide for herself.  I appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions.
  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
1 Responses
Avatar universal

Dear Cathy,
Yes, it is possible for your daughter to have an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) in the average range, and at the same time to have a learning disability. In fact, most children who have learning disabilities do have IQ's which are, in a general sense, somewhere in the average range (which actually covers quite a spread).
Your daughter's grade level scores indicate that she is well behind her normal grade level in the subject areas you described. The gap between expected vs. actual achievement indicates that she should be receiving a considerable amount of special educational assistance, probably in a self-contained classroom for learning disabled children. In such an academic setting she can receive intensive help from specialists in special education and, hopefully, narrow the between her expected vs. actual levels of achievement.
The IQ/LD issue confuses many parents. The IQ test measures a child's general ability to learn, and your daughter's test scores show the consistent finding that her general ability to learn is not impaired. Some children (for example, children with various levels of mental retardation, have limited intellectual ability). In your daughter's case, her difficulty is not caused by limits to her intelligence, but rather by particular limitations in her abilities to process certain kinds of information.
In short, your daughter's situation matches the general profile of many, if not most, learning disabled children, and suggests that she requires a considerable amount of special educational assistance.
Finally, your daughter's medications address two different issues: the dexedrine is a stimulant medication designed to address her ADHD; Paxil is an antidepressant medication which addresses her irritability and anger (which are often, in children and teens, symptoms of a mood disorder).
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. Please consult your health care providers for diagnostic and treatment options that pertain to your specific medical condition or situation.
*Keyword: ADHD, Learning Disability

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