The American Psychiatric
Association’s proposed definition of specific learning disability (“specific
learning disorder”) for the DSM-5 reflects
current thinking and best practice in learning disabilities.
It conceptualises learning disability
(LD) as well as proposes identification criteria to supplant the discredited
aptitude achievement discrepancy formula.
Specific learning disability means a disorder in which
one or more basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using
language, spoken or written, which have manifested itself to an imperfect
ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical
calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain
injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type.
It is characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling
behaviour which is
not appropriate for a person’s age.
ADHD is a disorder
which includes difficulty in paying attention(inattention), difficulty in
staying focused, difficulty in controlling one’s behaviour (disruptive
behaviour), impulsivity and hyperactivity.
ADHD and SLD are distinct conditions
that frequently overlap, thereby causing confusion about the nature of these
two conditions. It is estimated that 20-30% of those with learning disabilities
have coexisting ADHD.
Coexisting means that two conditions
ADHD and SLD, can occur together, but they do not cause each other.
Learning disabilities can include developmental
speech and language disorders and academic skills disorders.
ADHD, however, is not considered a learning
disability, but it very frequently causes academic difficulties.
Since ADHD and SLD overlap each
other it is difficult to diagnose them separately. ADHD requires specific
medication as it is a neurodevelopmental disorder whereas SLD requires both
strengthening the skills and developing a learning strategy specifically
keeping in mind the child’s strength.
Misdiagnosis of either ADHA or
SLD and subsequent treatment will not help the child, moreover might even
worsen his or her condition.
With this regard, we are
proposing this study to help in proper diagnosis and differentiation of ADHD
and SLD in children of rural educational setup.