Many people go through life with a learning difference or disability that goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. As a result, too many California residents, whether adults or younger students, believe that they are simply not smart enough to keep up with educational curriculum. However, in many cases, individuals can receive a chance at realizing their true intelligence and potential by using an individualized education program, or IEP, after a disability diagnosis.
There are many learning disabilities that are not uncommon but that do not present themselves in obvious ways at first. Some students may simply think they did not understand the material, got confused on tests, chose the wrong answer by mistake or otherwise got mixed up. Though it is not always the case, these mix-ups could point to a learning issue, and if diagnosed, students with the disability may be able to find ways to better understand lessons.
Some common disabilities that often go undiagnosed for some time include:
- Dyslexia, which is a learning disability that affects reading and language skills
- Dyspraxia, which is not specifically a learning disability but can negatively affect a student’s learning abilities because it can cause issues with coordination and find motor skills
- Dyscalculia, which affects abilities associated with numbers and math
- Dysgraphia, which can affect a person’s ability to write
- Nonverbal learning disabilities, which can relate to a person’s ability to learn visually despite being able to read and write and can affect a person’s social skills, attention span and organizational abilities
Often, students with these or other conditions may feel as if they are falling behind in school. If teachers and parents do not understand that an underlying condition is at play, students may find themselves getting in trouble at school instead of getting the help they need to succeed. If California parents believe that their child has a condition that could affect learning abilities, receiving a diagnosis could help them work toward getting an IEP that could help their child thrive.