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Monday, May 15, 2017

The State of Learning Disabilities

From Smart Kids with LD

May 8, 2017

A recently released report from the National Center for Learning Disabilities suggests that while strides have been made to level the playing field for kids with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), there is still much work to be done.

This fact-based report confirms that when children with LD are given appropriate interventions they can and do achieve at high levels. But all too often, these kids still find themselves struggling to fit into school and social environments that do not support them in ways that encourage success.

Following are a few facts from the NCLD report, The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5.

  • 1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, but only a small subset are formally identified with a disability in school.
  • While learning disabilities affect children across all income levels, races, and ethnicities, “low income children, students of color, and English language learners are more likely to be diagnosed.” This, the report concludes, is due to bias.
  • Although children with SLD are as smart as their non-LD peers, there remains a wide achievement gap between those groups. For example, 28% of children without SLD read at a proficient level by the 4th grade; only 3% of same-grade students with SLD read at the proficient level.
  • High-school graduation rates for children with LD lag the national average by about 10%; and 18% of students with SLD drop out of school compared to 6.5% of the general student body.

With 20% of school-age children affected by SLD and attention issues, it’s critical that parents of kids with SLD understand the issues and use this information to help their children succeed.

You can read the full report at

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