Disabled or Different?

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November 19, 2012
Disabled or Different?
Learning disabilities affect 2.4 million students currently in the U.S (General LD, n.d). A learning disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that affects how one's brain is able to receive, process, store, and respond to information (General LD, n.d). Although their brains process information differently those who have learning disabilities have a normal or above average IQ. Now that there is more knowledge regarding LD's, children are typically diagnosed early on in school. However, studies have shown boys are usually diagnosed younger than girls. This diagnosis may affect children's self-esteem if not handled properly. Luckily, educational systems are more than ever prepared to help these children learn.

So how does being diagnosed with a learning disability affect a child’s self-esteem? There are many factors that need to be considered when asking this, for instance, how are the parents handling the diagnosis? If they are overly dramatic and treating it as the end of the world, then the child’s self-esteem will most likely plummet. If the parent is relatively calm and explains properly what the diagnosis means then the child’s self-esteem will not drop nearly as much. It also depends on how old the child is when diagnosed. Even though children are now typically diagnosed early on in elementary school, girls are often diagnosed later than boys (Bedrosian, 2012). This is thought to be because girls at this age will try to hide the difficulties they are experiencing and find ways to compensate for them (Bedrosian, 2012). This may prevent them from being properly diagnosed until middle school (Bedrosian, 2012). The older the child is when diagnosed the more their self-esteem may be affected. What kids with learning disabilities need to know is that they’re not disabled they just learn differently. This is not something that will own them; they can overcome it with hard work. When first diagnosed children may...
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