Undiagnosed Learning Disability’s Effect on Students

Shurooq Albader, Writer

While there has been widespread awareness for learning disabilities in students that are correctly diagnosed, undiagnosed learning disabilities have and continue to take a toll on students’ mental health, school performance, and behaviors. Many struggle with depression, anxiety, being a victim of bullying, poor academic performance, and having few to no friends as a result of being undiagnosed. 

What are the signs of an undiagnosed learning disability? 

With some learning disabilities, it may be hard for students to take tests or get work done without help. It may also be difficult for them to watch their siblings getting straight A-pluses when they could only get Cs or Bs. It might also be the other way around when undiagnosed students are the ones getting A pluses and their siblings are getting Cs or Bs. Children may present themselves as well-kept students, but they could also be struggling to get work done or get good enough grades to pass. If a child shows they can do well but aren’t doing well, they may just need a little help. It can become overwhelming once they start falling behind on assignments that start to pile up, which causes a lot of stress. This isn’t the same as kids just being lazy, as they are just struggling to find motivation.

 Social circles, family, and self-critical perfectionism could also affect someone. The undiagnosed likely do not have healthy social circles or are maybe cast as an outcast because of the way they act. Though, some kids may have extensive school circles because of their high energy. Their mental health may also be affected by their siblings. They might have the need to feel perfect and be the best. This is called self-critical perfectionism, meaning that you think you have to be the best at everything. It also has a huge impact on self-esteem. Seeing people be able to talk to others with ease pass exams easily, or stroll through difficult activities easily  could damage self-esteem. Issues like these also affect the living environment. Some people might lose motivation to clean their room or themselves, leading to poorly structured rooms and lives.

Some learning disabilities also cause body dysmorphia, which can lead to eating disorders if the dysmorphia is severe. Body dysmorphia is when you can’t stop thinking about how you look to yourself or others. For some people, it could be so severe that they could stop eating or overeat. It could also lead to people getting plastic surgery.

What can parents of children with learning disabilities do to help their children? 

Some parents tell their kids that they need to get all A’s, or take certain classes without giving their kids a choice. This could cause kids to think that if they don’t get the best grades, their parents will be disappointed or expect reprisal or punishment. This can create heaps of stress for the kids and bring about other underlying mental health problems. It is also extra stressful for kids with learning disabilities who have no accommodations. It’s best not to force kids to do things and better to just let them do what they want, to a reasonable extent. From my experience, I have done just fine with average grades and my parents not forcing high grades onto me has helped greatly. It is the same with making your kids pursue well-paying, high-status jobs irrespective of their needs. Parents might consider letting their kids choose the job that suits them, . It will help them be more passionate about their work and enjoy doing it every day. Parents could also help by asking their kids why they may be struggling in school. Parents could use this information to see if their kid needs to be tested for learning disabilities.

It doesn’t always need to stay all dark and gloomy for everyone. Once you can find the right people, therapies, or medicine to help, things do start to get easier, for those with learning disabilities, diagnosed or undiagnosed.

Information in this article is from stressmanagment.co.uk .