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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?

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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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Help Kids and Make a Difference

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases. Give today to help more children grow up stronger.

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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


    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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    ADHD & Learning Differences Program

    We offer youth and families a comprehensive range of clinical services, including evidence-based assessment and treatment services. Families, communities and schools can also access state-of-the-art investigational interventions being developed for youth and adolescents with ADHD and learning differences by participating in one of our ongoing research studies.

    Tuberous Sclerosis Program

    Children's National Hospital is one of 47 sites in the United States with a clinic devoted to the treatment of tuberous sclerosis (TSC). We treat our children who are diagnosed with TSC, and continue to provide consultation with primary care physicians and some outpatient services for our patients into adulthood.