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Supporting adopted children with learning disabilities

Supporting adopted children with learning disabilities

November is National Adoption Month and while the general purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care, it's also an apropos time to express ways to support adopted children with learning disabilities.

A research brief published on the "Institute for Family Studies" found that:

• At the start of kindergarten, about 1 in 4 adopted children has a diagnosed disability. That's twice the rate of children being raised by both biological parents.

• Adopted children were significantly likelier (compared to birth children) to have behavior and learning problems.

• Teachers reported that adopted children were worse at paying attention in class and less able to persevere on difficult tasks.

And the issues don't fade with time, they get worse.

A follow-up report, "How Adopted Children Fare in Middle School" found that by 8th grade:

• Half of adopted children have diagnosed disabilities

• One third of adopted children have received an out-of-school suspension (by the end of that year)

• Adopted students performed significantly below average on math, science and reading assessments

The learning and behavioral struggles of adopted children and teens seem to have little to do with the adoptive parents. On the contrary. Adoptive parents tend to:

• Be wealthier

• Be better educated

• Be more likely to read to their children

• Be more likely to send them to private schools

So, with such dedicated parents with access to resources, why do adopted children seem to struggle more?

It's not necessarily because of severe intellectual or physical disabilities. Most of the conditions that adopted children have learn toward ADHD or other learning disabilities. One theory is a disruption in the attachment to the biological mother. 

Regardless of the cause, there is an option that adoptive parents may want to consider: one-on-one brain training. 

Because most learning struggles are caused by weak cognitive skills, it makes sense that targeting and training those subpar cognitive skills would help. 

Cognitive skills are an integral part of learning, reading, memorizing, and performing, and they work together to take incoming information and move it into a bank of knowledge that you use throughout your everyday life—and especially in school or at work. At LearningRx, we offer cognitive skills training that strengthens the underlying skills required for optimum learning and performance. If even one of your skills is weak, the rest of them can be affected. Most learning struggles are caused by one or more weak cognitive skills.

At LearningRx, we pair clients up with one of our brain trainers for individualized programs that consist of game-like mental exercises that are both fun and challenging. Our brain training center in Shreveport offers cognitive skills training that is the result of over 35 years of research, development, testing, and refinement. We are proud to have helped clients with attention struggles and ADHD, reading struggles and dyslexia, memory decline, autism spectrum, traumatic brain injury, and so much more.

To learn more about how personal brain training might benefit your student, visit