Learning disabilities are more common than most people think, but widely misunderstood. It is widely believed by educational psychologists that more than one in 10 people in the general population (children and adults) have a learning disability.
- Myth: Learning disabilities occur in people with low intelligence. In fact: a learning disability can only be diagnosed in someone who has average or higher cognitive ability. Many famously successful people have had a learning disability including Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg and Albert Einstein. Sometimes the LD temporarily prevents people from believing in themselves and demonstrating their true intelligence, but never precludes a person from being successful.
- Myth: Learning disabilities are caused by a lack of parental involvement or from a child watching too much television. Reality: Learning disabilities often run in families suggesting there a genetic link between this disability and the person affected. While researchers have found no specific gene that is responsible for either dyslexia (reading issues) or dyscalculia (math issues), findings do show many of the genes associated with dyslexia also seem to be linked to math challenges. This science supports the everyday experiences of teachers and parents who notice that children with reading challenges often have math challenges as well.
- Myth: Learning disabilities affect more boys than girls. The truth is that while 66 percent of all children diagnosed with a LD are boys, experts understand that learning disabilities affect both genders equally. Girls often escape identification because they often outwardly show less behavioral indicators of learning struggles.
As Headmaster of Landmark East School, a grantee partner of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, it is inspiring to me and my staff to work with students with learning disabilities every day; to witness and be a part of the remarkable growth and change that occurs in these young people every day; to see bright futures and capable young people who truly have no limits.