ADHD and Learning Disabilities – Are They Different Conditions or Could They Be One In The Same?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and can create serious obstacles in many areas of a person's life including their ability to learn. Learning disabilities on the other hand are a group of lifelong disorders that affect a person's ability to master basic skills such as reading, writing, doing mathematics, following instructions, and paying attention. As with ADHD learning disabilities are major roadblock in achieving academic, professional, and personal success and are among the leading reasons for failure in school.
According to the American Medical Association there are seven types of different learning disabilities. They are special impairment (dyslexia), writing disabilities (dysgraphia), language problems, inability to grasp basic mathematical concepts (dyscalculia), problems with time and space management, memory problems, sensory integration dysfunction, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Surprising isn't it that ADHD is listed as one of the seven rather than a separate condition which would include one or more of the other 6 learning disorders?
It is easy to see how confusion could reign supreme when discussing ADHD and learning disabilities since it is almost impossible to determine which one comes first.
Demystifying the confusion
As general rule someone with a learning disability is challenged in one, or maybe two areas, while performing at acceptable or even slight better than average in other areas. As you may recognize this is a very common occurrence. One example would be your child performing admirably in geography but is totally lost when it comes to basic math skills, and even worse when it comes to understanding math concepts.
You ask yourself how is this possible that I have a child that can find his way to the most obscure regions of the world but if forced to chart a course with a slide rule wouldn't have the foggiest idea about where to start?
On the other hand attention deficit disorder affects learning in a broader way and compromises all cognitive functions most of the time, rather than just one or maybe two. This is not measurable on tests, unless there was some kind of extenuating circumstance involved. For example if the test was given in a place filled with distractions.
When comparing ADHD and learning disabilities one important distinction to keep in mind is that learning disabilities can be diagnosed by the school, ADHD cannot. The reason is that ADHD is classified as medical condition that can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Could ADHD and Learning Disabilities be one in the same?
This idea goes against conventional wisdom but is certainly a possibility to consider especially in light on new information about the causes of ADHD.
It is now believed that ADHD is caused by an imbalance in the brain chemical dopamine, and possibly norepinephrine, alone with genetic brain communication abnormalities in specific areas of the brain. Both of these factors also play a role in most, if not all, of the learning disabilities listed above.
Additionally, many experts in field of ADHD research now believe that ADHD could be a combination of as many as 10 conditions with learning disabilities being right at the top of the list.
For those struggling with ADHD and learning disabilities finding an effective treatment option/options is an important first step to overcoming the many challenges they may be facing. Prescription stimulants are often the treatment of choice. Examples would Ritalin, Adderall and non-stimulant medications such as Intuniv or Strattera. While for the most part effective, all stimulant medications come with a number of both long and short-term side effects risks.
The risk of side effects, or perhaps the lack of success (30% of the time), has prompted many to consider non-prescription options. A couple examples of these are behavior modification therapy and/or homeopathic ADHD remedies. Homeopathic remedies for ADHD and learning disabilities are a side effect free way to address such problematic symptoms as inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, erratic behavior and hyperactivity and can be used both as a standalone treatment or in combination with other non-prescription alternatives. They also have been shown to produce long-term lasting benefits slightly over half of the time.
About the Author
R.D. Hawkins is an enthusiastic consumer advocate for natural health and natural living with over 10 years experience in the field. To discover more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder along with information about safe and effective herbal and homeopathic ADHD remedies for many of the most problematic ADHD symptoms Click Here