Children’s Learning Disabilities May Take Toll on Families Learning disabilities in children may have ripple effects that can include anxiety issues and lower quality of life for families, according to a study in the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Using a parent/guardian questionnaire, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital surveyed families of children referred for assessment of learning disorders. The ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   September 01, 2018
Children’s Learning Disabilities May Take Toll on Families
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Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   September 01, 2018
Children’s Learning Disabilities May Take Toll on Families
The ASHA Leader, September 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.23092018.16
The ASHA Leader, September 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.23092018.16
Learning disabilities in children may have ripple effects that can include anxiety issues and lower quality of life for families, according to a study in the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Using a parent/guardian questionnaire, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital surveyed families of children referred for assessment of learning disorders.
The 15-question quality-of-life survey, sent to 325 parents/guardians of children in grades one through eight, asked about parents’ anxiety levels related to their children, children’s frustration with schoolwork, length of time children take to complete homework, family stress levels and whether family activities were limited because of learning problems.

Half of families of children with learning disabilities reported more quality-of-life problems categorized as “at risk” or “clinically significant.”

Within the 325 surveyed families, 93 had children receiving special education support with IEPs because of identified learning disabilities. The other 232 children attended general education.
Half of families of children with learning disabilities reported more quality-of-life problems categorized as “at risk” or “clinically significant” compared with 15 percent of the general education group. The researchers plan to follow up with families in a year to check if quality of life improves.
“The effect on families is not trivial, and it’s been under-appreciated. It’s always good to ask families about stress and anxiety if they report concerns about academics,” says Deborah Waber, lead author and director of the Learning Disabilities Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
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September 2018
Volume 23, Issue 9