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Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorders

by Dr. Richard Komm, Llc. Psychologist (CA. and AZ.)
Schoolchildren are often disadvantaged by the presence of a learning disability and may affect reading, math, or written language. These problems are often discovered early in a students' career, but may only be partially addressed by the school or even (in its more subtle forms), not even noted as a "problem" until late in the elementary or early in the middle school years.

Although the federal and state governments provide detection and support under "special education" auspices, there are often long waiting periods for testing for LD and, indeed, the less easily-seen problems are not followed up as they might be. This often results in a severe impact to a students' self-esteem and may, in turn, cause them to "deselect" school as a positive influence on their life. These attitudes most often combine with the restlessness and "growing pains" common in the early teen-aged years to produce profound impact on both their lives as well as their parents.

My task is to be of assistance to these youngsters through a combination of testing, diagnosing, and formulating a plan of action that will help to change the educational environment for the better. This might include meeting with school officials (mainly through the process of the IEP [Individual Educational Plan] that "formalizes the approach. In addition, other assistance can be forthcoming to deal with both a specific learning problem or the behavior problems that may have surfaced in the face of a students' frustration with the learning process.

Another major area of concern that may or may not be directly related to a specific learning disability is the presence of an Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity) [ADD/ADHD]. This is a largely developmentally-based event (although exact causation is unknown) that results in profound difficulties in the student's ability to attend to educational (or other) input. It may comprise any or all aspects of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity and markedly (and negatively) impact the individual in the school or in his/her environment. This problem can be accurately diagnosed through a series of tests and other procedures. Once discovered, effective remedies and solutions can be forthcoming to assist the student in class and his lifespace.

It is important to carefully delineate between a true ADD/ADHD and a "high activity" youngster that is not so affected. This requires professional followup by those trained and experienced in the area. In my specialty, psychology, there are many research studies attesting to the prevalence, detection, and treatment of this condition.

It is estimated that approximately 3% to 5% of the population may have one or both of these problems; boys outnumber girls by a factor of about 3 to l. Further information can be found on the internet and, above all, by consulting a professional.

Dr. Richard A. Komm
Llc. Psychologist (CA. and AZ.)
Registrant, Natl. Register, Health Svc. Providers in Psychology.
Credentialed School Psychologist Tel: (602) 870-3162
Tel: (415) 775-7100

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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