Misunderstanding of LD Stated in 2014 State of Learning Disabilities Report!

ldc logoThe National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) released the third edition of its State of Learning Disabilities report. I found it quite disturbing the misconceptions the average public understands about LD.

The report captures data about the 2.4 million students (5% of our nation’s school-age population) whose learning disabilities (LD) have been formally identified, and provides a critical lens through which to understand and address the needs of the additional 15% of students with unidentified and unaddressed learning and attention issues.

This report is an essential resource for anyone who is concerned about the one in five children, adolescents and adults who are impacted by learning and attention issues, whether in school, at home and or in the workplace.

“Stigma, underachievement and misunderstanding of LD continue to be stubborn barriers for parents and children to overcome,” says James H. Wendorf, NCLD’s executive director. “The data in this new report reveal that, left unaddressed, as many as 60 million individuals risk being left behind, burdened by low self-esteem, subjected to low expectations and diminished in their ability to pursue their dreams.”


This report tells a story about the realities of LD in society today, including new sections about public perceptions and the impact of LD on post-secondary education and employment. Also included is a section that identifies emerging issues for which reliable data are urgently needed.

Dr. Sheldon H. Horowitz, NCLD’s director of LD resources and co-author of this report, states, “While some progress has been made, the hurdles faced by the LD community remain daunting.” Citing from the newly added “public perceptions” section of the report, Dr. Horowitz offers the following findings:

  • Up to 1/3 of people inaccurately attribute LD to excessive time watching TV, poor diet or childhood vaccinations; 1/2 of people surveyed think it’s just laziness
  • 7 out of 10 people surveyed mistakenly link LD with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders
  • 1 in 3 parents report deep feelings of isolation, stress, anxiety, guilt and pessimism regarding their child’s learning and attention issues

“This report should be a call to action for parents, school leaders and policy makers to take steps to ensure that every individual who struggles with learning and attention issues is provided the opportunity to graduate from high school, live an independent life and contribute to society in the most meaningful ways.”

To access The State of Learning Disabilities report, go to www.LD.org/StateofLD.

About NCLD
For more than 35 years, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has committed their passion and expertise to empowering parents, helping to transform public schools and advocating for families and children challenged by learning and attention issues.  They have improved millions of lives and are now one of the nation’s leading authorities on learning issues. For their transparency, accountability and sound financial management, NCLD has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating—four stars. For more information, please visit NCLD.org and  follow them at facebook.com/LD.org and on Twitter at @LDorg.

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25 Responses to Misunderstanding of LD Stated in 2014 State of Learning Disabilities Report!

  1. And to think that so many learning disabilities go undiagnosed, too. My son was caught early thankfully, but I know there are other kids out there that need help & aren’t getting it & that makes me sad.
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  2. mer says:

    So glad you posted this – more info needs to be available so there are fewer misconceptions, and more support for the parents, not just the kids!
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  3. Tina Ashburn says:

    I wonder not only why these children are not being diagnosed but what is causing the epidemic in the first place. One would think with the numbers so high the schools would be more aware of the problem.

  4. Dee says:

    Thank you so much for posting this and raising awareness!
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  5. Wendy says:

    I’m sad that this happens. I know it does, because I’ve heard people talking about it, and I usually chime in and ask what research they read to support their “claims”. To me, it’s just another form of bullying. It’s really mean, and sad.

  6. I can believe that 1/2 of people surveyed think it’s just laziness! So many misconceptions!
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  7. Jen V says:

    My oldest daughter has struggled with a learning disability all her life. It’s sad that so many people still have these misconceptions about learning disabilities.
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  8. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    So sad that there have been misconceptions. You would hope at this point there would not be a stigma associated with LD but clearly more people need to be educated about it.

  9. mommy2jam says:

    THis was a great read. My son has some learning issues and we are still playing the wait game with the school district
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  10. Lisa Jones says:

    What A Shame I Never Knew We Need To Get It Out There To Help All These Kids With LD!!!
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  11. Sandra says:

    So many misconceptions and the only way it will change is through things like this, thanks for sharing!
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  12. Oh my gosh, it hurts my heart to think that many parents feel alone in their situation!
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  13. The more information that gets out there, the more people will start to understand better — and that will help parents and children. Thanks so much for sharing this.
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  14. Aly Mashrah says:

    I’m glad you posted this, I had no idea this was happening. It needs to be brought up in the educational field more often.
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  15. thank you for sharing, I had no idea this is going on!
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  16. These survey results are so upsetting but sadly not surprising. I’m glad you’re talking about this, because the more we discuss it, the more we can bring light to the issue.
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  17. Nicky says:

    This is great information. It’s unfortunate when someone isn’t diagnosed due to fear of stigma. There are so many tools to help people with a LD. The more people know, the more we can help.
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  18. DawnC says:

    It’s not laziness. My daughter has a hard time retaining. She’s getting better each year. But learning and remembering is an issue for her.
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  19. Mariana says:

    I can imagine most people know little about learning disabilities. I remember when I was growing up, it was all attributed to laziness!

  20. It is important to share information like this to help support people who are dealing with these issues personally and to inform those who are not.
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  21. Debbie L. says:

    Sad to think we have come so far in medicine and yet so far to go. I feel so sorry for the ones that are not diagnosed – being misjudged is so wrong.

  22. Wow, people really need to educate themselves on LD’s rather than assuming things – thank you for helping with that! 🙂
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  23. Shauna says:

    Wow, thank you so much for this post… we really do need more informational posts like this…

  24. Lexie Lane says:

    There are so many learning disabilities that it’s just starting to get more and more concerning. I’m so glad there are so many good programs for them though.

  25. Debi says:

    I wonder how many of the learning disabilities are really alack of the teachers, or whoever, finding the best learning styles that fit the kids. I think so often people expect all kids to be able t learn the same way and fit into a certain box. I know with my 4, if I tried to teach them all the same way, someone would always have a problem. They are all different types of learners.
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