How can you tell if a child with learning disabilities also has ADD?

Children with learning disabilities often show signs of difficulty paying attention. Before diagnosing a learning disabled child with attention deficit disorders, the child should be observed at home and at play. Since children with learning disabilities struggle with school-related tasks, it is not unusual for them to have difficulty paying attention while performing those tasks. The key question for the doctor performing the evaluation is whether or not the attentional difficulties are present during non-academic activities, such as while playing with friends or while doing chores. Although a battery of tests as extensive as is used to diagnose a learning disability is not usually necessary to diagnose an attention deficit disorder, it is often possible to detect particular test patterns which can indicate problems with attention. If and attention deficit disorder is suspected, a comprehensive formal evaluation for ADD should be undertaken.

What is ADD?
Classroom Modifications for ADD and ADHD
Counseling and Education for Children with ADD or ADHD
What Conditions Might Be Confused With ADD?
What Conditions Commonly Co-Exist With ADD?
How can you tell if a child is having trouble because of problems such as stress or family problems or if it’s really ADD?
How can you tell if a child with learning disabilities also has ADD?
National Resources for ADD and ADHD Information
Recommended Reading

Referring to this article:
“Attention Deficit Disorder: What is ADD?” was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist and published in the Find (formerly Mental Health Journal in July, 1997. Parts of the article were published at the ADD/LD Resource Center web site (, owned and operated by the Institute for ADD and Learning, in 1995. C. J. Newton was the co-founder of the Institute for ADD and Learning, along with Sandra Scheinbaum, Ph.D. That web site no longer exists.

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