Both ADHD and learning disabilities affect how individuals, especially children, learn. But at the same time, they have some major differences. So can ADHD fit in the category of a learning disability?
What Is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a chronic neuropsychiatric condition that affects both children and adults. In fact, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders that affects children today. The average diagnosing age for this disorder is 7 years old, but it is possible for people to be unaware of their ADHD until adulthood. This condition is very difficult to diagnose and requires someone to display multiple symptoms in order to be diagnosed.
The Effects of ADHD
All effects of ADHD depend on the individual and their history with the disorder. However, there are some signs and symptoms that could point to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Effects of ADHD may include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems with focusing
- Reduced executive function
- Problems with sitting still
- Lack of attention to detail
Since ADHD and its effects may impact a child’s ability to learn, it is sometimes confused with a learning disability.
The Basics of Learning Disabilities
There are many learning disabilities out there, many of which affect how a person understands language and the written word. Children with learning disabilities usually have ongoing difficulties in subjects such as reading, writing, math, and arithmetic. Most of the time, children with these disabilities have grades that are below the average academic range.
Is ADHD Considered A Disability?
Even though ADHD can affect how someone learns, it isn’t technically a learning disability. This is because it doesn’t influence specific aspects of education. For example, a child with ADHD may have trouble with reading not because they can’t make out the letters on paper, but because they are unable to focus or sit still long enough to complete a page.
ADHD and learning disabilities do have similar symptoms, which can also make them difficult to tell apart. Additionally, many individuals with ADHD also have learning disabilities. If someone has ADHD, they may be more likely to develop a learning disability than a person without it.
While ADHD is not a learning disability, you may be eligible for some disability benefits if you are an adult who was diagnosed with this disorder during childhood. This varies depending on the individual and their case.
ADHD may provide an obstacle for children when it comes to learning and development, but it can be managed and treated with proper education and appropriate treatment methods. Here are some strategies that may help individuals with ADHD:
- Educating parents and teachers about the disorder
- Trying one-on-one therapy
- Considering medication for patients over 6
- Considering a comprehensive treatment approach
- Creating/enrolling in and individualized learning plan
If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, the first place to start is with a primary doctor who is familiar with your family. If you think your child may be displaying some signs of ADHD, do your research and bring the topic up to their doctor before seeking an official diagnosis. To learn more about ADHD and its symptoms, contact our team of medical and substance abuse treatment professionals by calling 267.719.8528.