Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188

I am a lay Parent Advocate assisting parents of children with disabilities in school IDEA, 504 and SST meetings. I am a former CHADD and LDA Coordinator, graduate of the 1st GA Advocacy Office PLSP legal training course and most importantly parent of two children with various disabilities.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Interesting Facts on AD/HD & Learning Disabilities

Interesting Facts on AD/HD & Learning Disabilities

Prepared by Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
Carol Sadler © 2003
(May reproduce giving proper credit above)

Having AD/HD is like watching someone change the channels on the TV every few seconds... You can get a general idea of what is going on, but you miss most of the content.

Having AD/HD is like being put into a dark room with things scattered around to trip you. You don't get a flashlight but everyone else does... when you finally learn your way around, someone moves you to another room.

Statistics and Facts from CHADD and various sources including the book "Teaching the Tiger" co-authored by Sheryl Pruitt:

3-5% of school-age children and approximately 2-4% of adults have AD/HD a neurobiological disorder. Although individuals with AD/HD can be very successful in life, without identification and proper treatment AD/HD can have serious consequences, including school failure, depression, conduct disorder, failed relationships, and substance abuse.

Boys are 3 times more likely to have the disorder than girls. Girls are more likely to have the Inattentive type of AD/HD.

70% of children with AD/HD will continue exhibit symptoms of AD/HD in adulthood.

70-80% of children with AD/HD respond positively to psycho-stimulant medication.

69% of people with AD/HD have other co-occurring disorders such as Anxiety 25-40%, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) 10-30%, Depression 10-47%, Bipolar 20%, ODD (Oppositional-Defiant Disorder) 40%, CD (Conduct Disorder) 25-50%, Tics and Tourette's Syndrome 7% (but 60% of those with Tourette's also have AD/HD), Learning Disabilities 50%, Autism Spectrum Disorders, etc.

Speech/Language/Pragmatic difficulty/disorders, Social Skills (playing, social relationships, keeping & making friendships), Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (sensitivity to light and/or touch, food aversions, clothes tags & seams of socks bothersome), Executive Function Disorder (not being able to organize, prioritize, use feedback, plan, initiate, pace, self monitor or self-correct), CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder), and Apraxia or Dysapraxia (motor functioning - Speech & Global), Hypotonia - (low muscle tone), and Ocular Motor Disorder are all additional problems that can occur with AD/HD.

Giftedness, Learning Disabilities, Anxiety Disorders, and Depression/Bi-Polar can all mimic AD/HD and display the same symptoms. A thorough neuropsychological evaluation is necessary to rule out other disorders and/or co-morbid disabilities.

Children with AD/HD can have a 1-3 year developmental delay cognitively, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. Age equivalents are approximately 2/3 of the student's chronological age.

Parenting an AD/HD child is like parenting 3 normal children. AD/HD children usually do not respond to traditional discipline methods. Positive behavior management strategies with rewards and Time-Out (used only for the child to regain self control and not as a punishment method) tend to be more effective.

AD/HD is not caused by poor parenting, food allergies, or too much sugar in the child's diet. AD/HD is highly genetic and tends to run in families. Head trauma, problems at birth, prematurity, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are other causes.

45% of children with AD/HD have language difficulties and/or disorders, this occurs more often in girls than boys. These difficulties may or may not be reflected in standard IQ testing, and additional Speech/Language testing is recommended.

90% of children with AD/HD have handwriting problems (fine motor delay) and 1/3 of children with AD/HD have a Written Expression learning disability. They may also have Dysgraphia, a handwriting learning disability.

1/3 of children with AD/HD are back at home at age 30, or many do not leave home until later in life.

Driving teens with AD/HD are:

-involved in accidents approximately four times more often than control subjects (those without the disorder) (1.5% vs. .4%)

-more likely to receive traffic citations compared to control subjects (78% vs. 47%), and those citations were most often issued for speeding and stop sign violations

-nearly seven times as likely to be involved in two or more crashes (40% vs. 6%)

-over four times more likely to be at fault for the accidents in which they were involved (48% vs. 11%).

2000 Statistics From LDAG (Learning Disabilities Association of GA) :

2.8 million students are currently receiving special education services for learning disabilities in the US. (1)

52% of students receiving special education services through the public schools are identified as having learning disabilities. (1)

Add another 4% to include OHI (Other Health Impaired category), which AD/HD falls under and you have 56% of students in the two categories of LD & OHI.

Approximately 85% of all individuals with learning disabilities have difficulties in the area of reading. (2)

35% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high school. This is twice the rate of students without learning disabilities. Of those who do graduate, less than two percent attend a four-year college, despite the fact that many are above average in intelligence. (1)

While equal numbers of girls and boys have been found to have reading disabilities, boys are three times more likely to be evaluated and treated. (4)


(1) U.S. Department of Education (2000). To assure the free appropriate public education of all children with disabilities. Twenty-second annual report to congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Bock, R. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Extramural Program in Learning Disabilities. Rockville, MD: NICHD Public Information and Communications Branch. National Longitudinal Transition Study. Conducted between 1987-1993 by SRI International, under contract number 300-87-0054 with the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education.

(4) Shaywitz S E;Shaywitz B A;Fletcher J M; Escobar MD. (1990). Prevalence of reading disability in boys and girls. Results of reading of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study (see comments). Journal of the American Medical Association, 264(8):998-1002. Abstract: