Years of careful research and good practice have taught scientists, educators, and parents a lot about learning disabilities (LD). But there is a lot that researchers are still figuring out. As a parent, keeping up with the latest scientific news on LD isn’t always easy: reports can be hard to find, confusing, and even contradictory. In this edition of LD Insights, we bring you the latest in LD research and help you decode what these new findings might mean for your child. Video Games May Aid Children with Dyslexia (The New York Times) Plenty of kids love action-packed video games, and a new study from Italy suggests that games might offer more than just fun for students with dyslexia. Researchers found that a small group of children with dyslexia markedly increased their reading speed with no loss of accuracy after playing a fast-paced Wii video game for 12 hours over the course of two weeks. But don’t fire up the PlayStation and expect great results in reading just yet! This very small study cannot be generalized to apply to other students, didn’t look at most parts of the reading process, and has not yet been replicated by independent research.
Time to Pay Attention: What the Newest AD/HD Research is Telling Us (Forbes) Has anyone ever told you that your child with AD/HD will “grow out of it”? A large-scale study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital suggests the conventional wisdom that AD/HD is only a childhood condition may be unfounded. The study found that AD/HD persists through adulthood for about 30% of people who have it as kids, and that children who suffer from AD/HD may be more likely to develop mental health issues like anxiety and depression as adults. In this article, Forbes columnist Alice Walton reflects on the results and examines how early detection and comprehensive treatment of AD/HD might lead to better adulthood outcomes.
Teens with Learning Disabilities Benefit from Closer Relationships (Psych Central) Difficulty in school is just one part of the LD struggle. Many people with LD also face social and emotional challenges. A new study from Israel sheds light on how parents can help their children navigate the often turbulent experience of adolescence with LD. Researchers found that students with LD were less likely to have close, secure relationships with their parents and teachers. However, the students with LD who did have these relationships were less likely to experience negative emotions, loneliness, and behavior problems. While the study is small and has not yet been replicated, it’s one more piece of evidence telling us that parents can make the difference when it comes to the success of children with LD.