psychology treating kids learning disabilities

Study: COVID Disruptions Contribute to Misdiagnosis of Learning Disorders in Children

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April 25, 2022Educational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may contribute to inaccurate or missed diagnoses of learning disorders in children, according to a new report in Nature Reviews Psychology that argues such errors may delay or deny necessary interventions and educational support.

1Since COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, millions of children have experienced school closures, virtual learning, reduced or eliminated access to support services and interventions, and psychosocial adversity (such as the death of a loved one or decreased social support).

The pandemic has also strained students’ mental health (increasing depression and anxiety) and diminished learning gains (especially in math and reading).2According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) a learning disorder diagnosis may only be made when “difficulties in learning and using academic skills must have persisted for at least six months despite intervention and cannot be accounted for by psychosocial adversity or inadequate instruction,” of which there has been plenty during the pandemic.

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