John Cardinal O’Connor School

16 North Broadway 10533 Irvington, NY
Phone: 914-591-9330
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Top Ten Misconception about Children with Learning Disabilities

April 10th, 2017 by JCOS Admin

It’s amazing to think how quickly an untruth can spread in our world. It seems, for so many people, if you say something enough times, it becomes a truth for them. Few subjects have more misconceptions circulating than that of learning disabilities.

If your child is one of the 2.4 million American public school students that have been identified as having a learning disability, then you have probably experienced some form of ignorance regarding the subject. It’s time to arm yourself with some facts. Whether your child goes to a school for learning disabilities or isn’t quite old enough for school, there are some things you will need to know to help others separate fact from fiction.

In your effort to educate others, it helps to have on hand a clear definition of what a learning disability is. Learning disabilities are defined as any number of disorders that impact a child’s ability to learn. It means the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, and retain information is affected. Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps.

School for Learning Disabilities

The National Center for Learning Disabilities recently conducted a survey in an effort to clear up some of the many misconceptions about learning disabilities. They surveyed almost 2,000 adults and compiled some misconceptions about learning disabilities, which are probably the same ones you have encountered or will encounter. Here are 10 common misconceptions about children with learning disabilities:

  1. Watching too much television can cause learning disabilities.
  2. They have a poor diet.
  3. A vaccine caused the problem.
  4. A lack of early childhood/teacher involvement was to blame.
  5. Eye glasses can correct the disabilities.
  6. They will never get into college or get a job.
  7. Learning disabilities are easily diagnosed.
  8. They will outgrow them.
  9. They are lazy.
  10. They are not smart.

When you consider that 22% of the respondents believe television causes learning disabilities and 31% believe they were caused by poor diet, it can feel like an uphill battle convincing them otherwise. The truth is, children with learning disabilities will not outgrow them, they are a lifelong neurological condition that affects every aspect of their life from academics to social skills, and teachers and parents are not to blame, either. Diagnosis is a long and trying process, and quick fixes like wearing eye glasses will not make a difference. These children are not lazy; they struggle with more than learning; their disability impacts their ability to do everyday tasks, which can be frustrating to them. And, above all, these children are smart: Many have above-average intelligence, and many go on to college and have fulfilling careers.


Children with learning disabilities do have their fair share of issues, including anxiety and depression, and they have difficulty acquiring certain skills – usually reading, writing, math, listening, speaking, and reasoning, but they can learn and they can succeed.

It takes a thoughtful approach and an array of teaching methods to meet them where they are. The John Cardinal O’Connor School empowers all children, including those with learning disabilities, to thrive academically and emotionally in a supportive environment. Call us today at 914-591-9330 to ask about how our multi-sensory instruction methods can work for your child with a learning disability.