Poor Scholastic Performance


Scholastic achievement has become an index of child’s future in this highly competitive  world. Unrecognized and unresolved, scholastic backwardness has a lifelong impact on the child and adolescent, affecting school completion, higher education, interpersonal relationships, prospects for employment, marriage etc. Awareness of the varying causes, methods of presentation and the principles of management are essential to be known by all physicians dealing with children.

Academic performance is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or down on paper.


Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.

Learning disabilities/difficulties is one of the factors that affect academic performance.

Learning disabilities are neurological differences in processing information that severely limit a person's ability to learn in a specific skill area. Everyone has differences in learning abilities, but people with learning disabilities have severe problems that persist throughout their lives.

A learning disability, or learning disorder, is not a problem with intelligence. A person with learning disability has average IQ. It can also be defined as a difference seen between a child's learning capacity and his actual learning ability. Learning disorders are caused by a difference in the brain that affects how information is received, processed, analyzed, stored or communicated.

Learning disability is a neurological condition that affects a child's brain and impairs his ability to carry out one or many specific tasks. A learning disabled child is neither slow nor mentally retarded. Children and adults with learning disabilities have trouble processing sensory information because they see, hear, and understand things differently.

There are many kinds of learning disabilities. Most students affected by them have more than one kind. Certain kinds of learning disabilities can interfere with a person's ability to concentrate or focus and can cause someone's mind to wander too much. Other learning disabilities can make it difficult for a student to read, write, spell, or solve math problems.

But a learning disability doesn't have anything to do with a person's intelligence — after all, successful people such as Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, and Winston Churchill, Abhishek Bachan all had learning disabilities. These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who isn't affected by learning disabilities.


Myth: People with learning Disability are stupid or less intelligent than their peers.
Fact:  Learning disabilities are differences in how a person’s brain receives, processes, and puts out information.  Learning disabilities are not an indicator of an individual’s intelligence.  Persons with learning disabilities simply learn differently from their peers. Thus, while many such persons have average or even above average intelligence, there is a discrepancy between their abilities and their actual achievement.


Myth: People with learning disabilities are lazy.
Fact: people with learning disability may make the similar mistakes a dozen of times; they make forget homework, assignments or may miss something they may have just been told to do. This is related to the way in which their brain process information. This is the entire struggle involved. 

Myth: With effort, most people can out-grow their learning disabilities.
Fact: you can never outgrow learning disability; once they manifest themselves they are always present. All the schools make such accommodations in which they can teach the children the way they learn the best depending upon their learning, so that they can develop sustainable strategies for the rest of their lives. Thus, children with learning disabilities grow up into adults with learning disabilities.

Myth: Learning disabilities affect males more then they affect females.
Fact: While it is true that boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability, research does not show any difference in the incidences of learning disabilities among girls and boys.  Perhaps because of some traditional ideas of gender based academic skills, or because of the more introverted behavior of girls with learning disabilities, they are less likely to be identified and treated for their learning disabilities.

Myth: School accommodations, and individual education plans give students with learning disabilities an unfair advantage.
Fact: Accommodations, whether they are technological, peer assistance, teacher clarification, extra time, or other types, are one way that the school can help a student with a learning disability find greater success in academics.

Myth:  all learning disabilities are the same.
Fact:   LDs are complicated and vary from person to person...LDs come in many forms and affect everyone differently. The impact of LDs may change in different settings depending on the demands of the situation.


Myth: disability is caused by evil spirits or as a punishment for sins .
Fact:  Anyone can become disabled at anytime, anywhere. Impairments have a wide range of causes. Whatever our religious or spiritual beliefs, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights is applicable to all human beings, and requires that we respect the dignity of every human being

What are the signs of a possible learning disability? 

Developmental problems: The earliest indication of a learning disability in a child is if he has difficulties in reaching basic developmental milestones. Some children take a little time to begin walking or speaking, which is perfectly normal. However, if your child still cannot walk by the age of two, he may have a learning disability. Besides not walking, he may also display uncoordinated movements. As he grows, he may display difficulty performing acts like fastening buttons or tying shoelaces, and have an awkward grasp over objects. 

Poor understanding of concepts: A child who is confused by regular actions like brushing his teeth, dressing himself, etc. may have a learning disability. He may not be able to understand certain concepts like colour, size, or shape. He may get mixed up between the previous day and the next, and also not be able to understand the concept of time. 

Excessive energy which affects normal functioning: Most children are a bundle of energy. Sometimes, this energy can affect a child's ability to carry out assigned tasks and the child is perceived to be hyperactive. A hyperactive child has difficulty focussing on one task at a time. He cannot sit still and may also face difficulties in normal interactions with other children of his age. The child could also be prone to temper tantrums when he is forced to socialise and will prefer to play by himself. 

Lack of attention: This usually occurs in tandem with hyperactivity. A child may appear not to listen when you speak to him directly and will ignore you. He will also not remember what he was doing a few minutes back and will tend to misplace things like books, pencils, toys, etc. He may also have problems following simple instructions like picking up his toys. 

Differences in skill levels: A child with a disability in one learning area can sometimes have exceptional skills in other areas. For example, a child may be an advanced reader for his age but may not be able to solve simple maths problems like adding two numbers. He may read words or numbers backwards and not be able to distinguish between his left and right sides.

A learning disability cannot be diagnosed by a layperson. If you suspect that your child is facing difficulties with learning, talk to your child's school teachers and see if they confirm that your child is having difficulty at school. Take your child to a doctor who is professionally qualified to diagnose learning disabilities. Remember that a learning disability can be treated. A child can overcome a learning disability to have a normal academic life and can even go to college and study professional courses.

What Causes Them?

No one's exactly sure what causes learning disabilities. But researchers do have some theories as to why they develop, including:

  • Genetic influences. Experts have noticed that learning disabilities tend to run in families and they think that heredity could play a role. However, researchers are still debating whether learning disabilities are, in fact, genetic, or if they show up in families because kids learn and model what their parents do.

  • Brain development. Some experts think that learning disabilities can be traced to brain development, both before and after birth. For this reason, problems such as low birth weight, lack of oxygen, or premature birth may have something to do with learning disabilities. Young children who receive head injuries may also be at risk of developing learning disabilities.

  • Environmental impacts. Infants and young kids are susceptible to environmental toxins (poisons). For example, you may have heard how lead (which can be found in some old homes in the form of lead paint or lead water pipes) is sometimes thought to contribute to learning disabilities. Poor nutrition early in life also may lead to learning disabilities later in life.
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