Ask The Experts | LD and Mental Health
For parents, hearing that their child has learning and attention issues can hit like a Mack truck. Yet, that initial impact can be multiplied later because mental health issues often ride shotgun to a neurodivergent diagnosis. Indeed, research published in the Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found nearly 24% of youngsters with a specific learning disorder suffer severe anxiety. Another study found that severe depression plagues more than 14% of children and adolescents with specific learning disorders. Additional research concluded 17% of children with learning and attention issues are dogged by severe stress while 75% register low resilience levels. Blame bullying, awkward social relationships, limited coping skills and more. Taken together, for children battling on both fronts — coping with learning differences and challenges to mental health – the tension can leave them vulnerable to psychiatric issues and undercut their ability to learn, foster relationships, and overcome obstacles. However, there is much families can do to support neurodivergent kids before or after mental health challenges arise. Our expert panel provides tips and strategies to identify red flags and respond positively to help children before or after mental health issues take root.