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Pediatric Learning Disorders

Key Points about Learning Disorders in Children

  • A learning disorder is when a child has problems with reading, math or writing.
  • It may be caused by a problem in how the brain is structured or in how the chemicals in the brain work.
  • Physical problems and mental health issues that might interfere with learning are ruled out before a learning disorder is diagnosed.
  • A child psychiatrist or other mental health expert , such as a school psychologist, can diagnose a learning disorder. They do an evaluation to find the child’s learning strengths and weaknesses.
  • Treatment may include therapy, special classes or medicine.
  • It's critical to work closely with your child's educational team, including teachers, school psychologists and administrators.
  • If a learning disability greatly interferes with your child’s ability to succeed in school, they may be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the ADA or Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act. Talk with your child’s teacher or principal about how to get more information.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a learning disorder in children?

What causes a learning disorder in a child?

Which children are at risk for a learning disorder?

What are the symptoms of a learning disorder in a child?

How is a learning disorder diagnosed in a child?

How is a learning disorder treated in a child?

How can I help prevent a learning disorder in my child?

How can I help my child live with a learning disorder?

Psychiatric Treatment at Children's National Hospital

Our nationally recognized psychiatric specialists offer assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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Enroll in the Treating Parents with ADHD and their Children Study

If you are a caregiver with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and your child has ADHD symptoms, you may be eligible for this research study. Learn more about potential benefits of this study.

Providers Who Treat Learning Disorders

    Departments that Treat Learning Disorders

    Neuropsychology Outpatient Evaluation

    Neurological disorders and injuries that affect the brain, including developmental problems and injury from an accident or birth trauma, can influence the way a child thinks, learns, behaves and expresses emotions.


    Children's National Hospital has some of the world's foremost experts in care for children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system.

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    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's National offers assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders.