Myths and Facts

Myth: Learning disabilities (LDs) do not really exist.
Fact: LDs are real. Recent research indicates neurological differences in the brain structure and function for people who have learning disabilities.

Myth: People with LDs cannot learn.
Fact: People with LDs are smart and can learn. LDs mean individuals learn in different ways.

Myth: More boys than girls have learning disabilities.
Fact: Four times as many boys as girls are identified as having LDs by schools, but many girls struggle with LDs as well. Many girls’ learning difficulties are neither identified nor treated – possibly because boys who are struggling are, in general, more disruptive in classes.

Myth: People with LDs are just lazy.
Fact: People with LDs often have to work harder, but the results may not reflect their efforts. Some people with LDs may become discouraged because they have struggled so hard and they may appear unmotivated or lazy.

Myth: All LDs are outgrown by adulthood.
Fact: LDs tend to be noticed most often in school, but can affect all areas of life. Often by adulthood, people have found ways to use their strengths to compensate for their LDs. Many adults seek work environments that are a good fit for their strengths.

Myth: Learning disabilities are a school issue.
Fact: LDs affect one or more modes of learning, anywhere that mode is used. LDs tend to be noticed most often when they impact on school-learning, but exist in all areas of life – work, family, relationships, etc.

Myth: Accommodating the needs of students with LDs in schools is too difficult, time consuming and expensive.
Fact: Accommodations implemented for students with LDs are also generally examples of good teaching. They can improve teaching and learning for the overall student population and other minority groups, such as people from a non-English speaking background. Teachers can also benefit from this approach by developing a range of flexible teaching and learning strategies that can be implemented in a number of different environments.

Myth: Accommodations give an unfair advantage.
Fact: Fair is not always equal. Adjustments ensure equal and fair participation in a learning environment and ensure actual learning is recognized. Accommodations allow people with LDs to work to their level of ability and not disability.

Myth: LDs can be cured.
Fact: There have been occasional claims by individuals of curing learning disabilities in various ways. Learning disabilities are a life-long condition; many people learn to successfully cope with their LDs to such an extent that it is no longer an issue for them, but there is no researched evidence that one person’s solution will work for all.

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