Causes of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities (LD) affect one in seven people throughout the United States. Having a learning disability can cause a child to struggle with school, especially in the areas of math and reading.

While much is known about how to help children with learning disabilities, many times the causes of why a child may be learning disabled is not known. Some parents and schools are often just stumped as to why a child may struggle with school and why he or she is diagnosed with a learning disability. Unfortunately, not every cause of learning disabilities is known; thus leaving a parent with the following question, “What are some reasons a child may have a learning disability?”

While research still continues as to why a LD happens, there are some known causes for learning disabilities:

Genetics: If a child has a mother or a father who is diagnosed with a learning disability, then the child has a higher chance of having one also. In other words: It’s in the genes!

Factors in Pregnancy: Many times mothers who are pregnant may make poor choices, such as smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol or using drugs. If the child is premature or has a very low birth rate, these factors often lead to children having a learning disability once he or she begins school.

Factors During Delivery of Baby: If there is a trauma to the baby during delivery, such as delayed oxygen, the baby stands a greater chance of having a learning disability.

Early Childhood Factors: Many factors from early childhood can lead to learning disabilities. These include: seizures, a poor learning environment, abuse, isolation or neglect, toxins in the home (mercury, lead, etc), infections of the central nervous system, diabetes, asthma, or poor nutrition. Granted, a child who experiences one or some of these factors does not mean he or she will be learning disabled.

Brain Trauma or Tumors: Any type of physical trauma to the brain can be a factor in developing a learning disability.

These are just some of the researched and proven causes for learning disabilities. Many times there really is no known reason why. Parents who are doctors may have a learning disabled child, and parents with no formal education may also have a child with a learning disability. Sometimes it isn’t genetics, it isn’t what the mother did during her pregnancy or delivery and it isn’t the home the child was raised in. It is something that just happens.

If your child has a learning disability, the main thing to focus on is the child and assisting that child with learning in the best possible way. The focus needs to be on ensuring that your learning disabled child is happy, healthy and learning in school!

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