Ch 1_Public perceptions reveal_Header

Comorbidity is common

It’s important to keep in mind that many children have more than one learning or attention issue. For example, researchers have found that dyslexia and dyscalculia^ co-occur in 30% to 70% of children who have either disorder.2 Studies also indicate as many as 45% of children with ADHD also have a learning disability^.3

Public perceptions reveal widespread misconceptions

Despite how common learning and attention issues are, there is still widespread confusion among the public about the nature and impact of these issues. Recent surveys, detailed below, highlight the perceptions of three key groups: parents, educators and healthcare professionals who work with children between the ages of 3 and 20. These surveys are consistent with previous research on public perceptions4 and underscore the ongoing need to:

  • Raise awareness and reduce stigma among parents, 43% of whom say that they wouldn’t want other parents to know if their child had a learning disability.
  • Clear up misconceptions among educators—a third of whom believe that sometimes what people call learning or attention issues is really just laziness.
  • Keep learning and attention issues top of mind among healthcare professionals, only a fifth of whom say they almost always ask parents and children about symptoms of learning and attention issues.