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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Learning Disabilities

03/27/2000

Question:

Are learning disabilities inherited from a parent or is it a genetic disorder? If you have a learning disability is it possible to cure? What are some ways that people with learning disablities can fit into society better?

Answer:

Often, the susceptibility or potential for learning disabilities is genetically transmitted from one or both biological parents to offspring. This may be the most common basis for the development of learning disabilities, although life experiences, especially during the first several years of maturation and education, will affect the development of learning strengths and weaknesses. Learning disabilities may not be curable in the sense that an infection can be cured. However, it is almost always possible to improve learning ability through rehabilitation (essentially practice to build skill and learning compensation strategies). The severity of the problem and the effort applied to rehabilitation will determine how much of an obstacle a learning problem represents. Fitting into society might be measured in terms of work and social life, so that maintaining productive work and a gratifying social and/or family life would allow anyone with or without learning difficulties to fit into society.

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Response by:

Robert Krikorian, PhD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati