The issues of learning disabilities and disorders are issues that affect a large portion of the population in all parts of the world. Unfortunately these disabilities do not affect just children, and many of the disorders or disabilities are carried on into adulthood (Keith, 2007). The problems formed at childhood if left untreated could be exasperated as adults which could affect their entire life. Sometimes the effects that they experience as an adult come with a greater intensity. The key to these disorders is treatment as soon as possible though medication counseling and therapy.
Although it is rare that these disorders can be completely eliminated in a child that has already manifested the symptoms, through appropriate treatment at a young age, children can learn to cope with the problems that they face (Wolf, Schreiber & Wasserstein, 2008). Many people without learning disorders are challenged with issues such as anger or emotional overreaction. They simply learn to deal with it. However in children, that have learning, behavioral or psychological problems, coping becomes more difficult as sometimes there are chemical imbalances and disabilities the child was born with. Relationships in themselves are difficult; however they are required to be successful in life. We have relationships with our friends, bosses, family, spouse, and co-workers. Maintaining those relationships is not only important to a successful life but it is extremely difficult for people that have untreated disabilities or disorders (Wolf, Schreiber & Wasserstein, 2008).
One of the main areas of concern in the areas of mental health is the undiagnosed or untreated learning disorder symptoms in children and adolescences. There are many specific examples of learning disabilities that can have future effects on the child’s life; however the first area of focus in this paper will be ADHD. The average person understands ADHD to be a childhood inability to sit still and focus. Although these two aspects of ADHD are correct, it encompasses so much more. What many people fail to understand is that problems such as ADHD can carry on into adulthood in 70 percent of all cases of people that were originally diagnosed(Everyday Health, 2008). Complications occur frequently when children were never treated for the disorder. What becomes more problematic is the symptoms can change once the child develops, becomes older, and forms relationships. Instead of the regular inability to just sit still or focus, they now deal with the inability to address real life problems (Hoffman, 2008).
For example, they might have difficulty focusing on their partner, what they are trying to tell them, and understanding what needs their partner has that, are not being met (Keith, 2007). Untreated ADHD can couple with depression in adults. The systems of ADHD and depression closely resemble the bi-polar disorder, characterized by violent and severe mood swings (Everyday Health, 2008). We can only imagine what could occur with a 12 or 13 year old girl or boy diagnosed with ADHD but left treated into adulthood. In adulthood, violent mood swings could lead to many broken relationships and lost jobs. As a child, this learning disorder will limit his or her ability to learn in class and to have friends. Their grades will drop, and some teachers and students will associate him or her with the term “trouble maker” un-motivated etc. This begins to work on the child’s self esteem. He begins to act out even more, and does not learn to cope with his learning disorder. The more he acts out, the more he is shunned from the rest of the class and the teachers. Considering the social aspect, other psychological disorders could arise. Some examples of those could be anti-social disorder which brings about a completely new set of problems (Shaywitz, 2005).
As we can see, a dangerous factor that arises from this situation is that the child is not developing the needed social skills or conflict resolution ability that most adolescent begin to develop. Children learn through experience and learning how to cope with problems and deal with relationships start at an early age. Later on in life the ADHD could easily manifest itself with depression. In the body’s attempt to self medicate, the child, now and adult, could turn to alcohol to improve his mood and feelings. Due to the ADHD still present within their body, he or she has difficulty listening to people. Their mind races from issue to issue, when someone is talking to them. His or her spouse feels like they are never being listening too and marital problems begin to occur. The problem is compounded at work. Symptoms of the ADHD cause them to speed through their work without carefully checking it over and they fail to consider the consequences of their actions.
They generally have poor communication skills, and try to answer questions before they are asked, causing bosses, and colleagues etc to feel like this person does not want to actually listen to them or improve. One important factor of untreated learning disorders such as ADHD is emotional overreaction. People suffering from ADHD lose their temper easily, causing major misunderstandings and fights that can spiral out of control. This causes them to damage the relationships, around them such as their spouse and children. (Varney & Whitney, 2002). Although these effects are present in the ADHD child the results and consequences are generally not as serious as they become once the child becomes older.
A second example of childhood learning disorders that carries on into adulthood is Dyslexia. Again, when the average person thinks of Dyslexia, they think of a child that cannot learn to read. Out of all the learning disabilities Dyslexia is the most common, and it affects 10 percent of the population. Sadly, unlike ADHD, there is no percentage of children that have completely outgrown Dyslexia. Adults with dyslexia suffer emotionally and financially because of their symptoms. Many researchers believe that anyone with Dyslexia or Specific Learning Difficulty can be taught coping skills and empowered to reach their full potential. However it requires treatment, preferably at a younger age (Shaywitz, 2005).
It is important to understand that factors in children most certainly will affect their future lives. Learning to cope is essential and this cannot be done without a diagnoses and someone qualified to assist the child in understanding what they are facing. Taking medication if necessarily coupled with counseling and assistance will go a long way in ensuring that these learning disorders do not destroy the Childs future life (Heininger & Weiss, 2001).
Everyday Health (2008) ADD/ADHD Basics Waterfront Media, Inc. Available: [Online] http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotionalhealth/adhd/index.aspx?utm_source=ask&utm_medium=ppc
Hoffman, M (2008) ADHD in Marriage and Romantic Relationships. Available [Online] http://www.savethemarriage.com/?hop=savmarriag
Heininger J, Weiss, S (2001) From Chaos to Calm: Effective Parenting for Challenging Children with ADHD and other Behavior Problems Random House Publishing. New York
Keith, C (2007) Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults Bantam Book New York
Shaywitz, S (2005) Overcoming Dyslexia. Random House: New York
Varney R, Whitney R (2002) Bridging the Gap: Raising a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder New York
Wolf L, Schreiber, H Wasserstein, J (2008) The future of the ADHD child New York Publishing. New York