The regulations for Public Law 101-476, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), define a learning disability as a "disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations."
The federal definition further states that learning disabilities include "such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia." Learning disabilities describe a syndrome, not a specific child with specific problems. The definition assists in classifying children, not teaching them. Children with learning disabilities may exhibit a combination of characteristics.
Many different estimates of the number of children with learning disabilities have appeared in the literature (ranging from 7 percent to 8 percent of the general population). The U.S. Department of Education (2000) reported that, in the 1998-99 school year, more than 2.8 million children with learning disabilities received special education and related services.
*Child Trends DataBank
Students who have learning disabilities may exhibit a wide range of traits, including:
Other traits that may be present include a variety of symptoms, such as:
Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Center
Language and Learning Clinic
Children and Adults with ADHD
ADD Warehouse: Leading Resource for the understanding and treatment of all developmental disorders
Knowledge Path—Children with Special Health Care Needs
The Association for Retarded Citizens
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities: the largest website on learning disability/difficulty in the UK
Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens
Baltimore's Child—Baltimore's best news for families
Council for Exceptional Children
The Autism Society of America
Learning Disability Association of America
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Family Village—A global community of disability-related resources
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
Exceptional Parent Magazine
National Parent Network on Disabilities
Parent's Place of Maryland: A center for families of children with disabilities
Mental Health Association of Maryland
TEACCH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
Max Brewer was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when he was 3. His older brother, Arthur, also has autism and completed the Marcus Autism Center Early Intervention Program. “We had seen such great progress with Arthur, so we knew that we needed to start Max in the program, too,” Max’s mother, Therese, said.
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