Various Disorders of Learning – Learning Disorders

 

Many conditions can interfere with learning. The old dogma was that learning disabilities were untreatable – because they were considered to be a state of being – similar to the notion of IQ being fixed and unmovable.

For many years, I worked to treat the emotional & biologic co-morbidities that go along with learning disorders. They run the gamut from attentional impairments secondary to untreated epilepsy to repairing the cognitive dysfunction caused by some medications. More recently we have learned of methods that can treat learning disabilities. They include computerized cognitive training and neurofeedback treatments.

About half of the children with a learning disorder (LD) will have co-morbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both LD and ADHD have a high degree of comorbidity with other neuropsychiatric suffering such as mood disorders, substance abuse, tic disorders, and clinically significant sleep problems. Along with these co-morbidities are the related illnesses that occur on a continuum – treatment resistant ADHD can co-occur with epilepsy/epileptiform brain wave abnormalities.

More recently we have learned of methods that can treat learning disabilities. They include computerized cognitive training and neurofeedback treatments.

So to maximize educational and psychosocial adaptation, one should work to treat any amenable brain illness while also addressing the emotional suffering that goes along with feeling *different & diminished*. All the while, the *team* must search for unique solutions that will enable learning. Its quite a feat – but it is a surefire way to salvage an otherwise ill-fated child.