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When you have a child with a learning disability or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) you yearn for a way to help. Parents are confronted with offers for reading programs, diets, vitamin regimens, and medical doctors who promise a quick fix for the child’s problems. The truth is, there is no quick fix. It takes consistent effort using research-based programs to help children learn how cope with their learning differences.
The myth of a quick fix for learning disabilities provides a thorough discussion of how to be a good consumer when "shopping" for information and help for your child.
Do not fall for any of the following.
A promise of a cure. No one can cure a learning disability or attention deficit disorder. These are lifelong problems that children must learn to manage. Once out of school, certain disabilities can become advantages for them in their chosen career, or they are simply not an issue at all.
The promise of rapid improvement. Learning disabilities and attention issues do not improve overnight. It takes persistence, hard work, and caring adults who provide encouragement and help.
Failure to cite third party research. Many programs cite "research" to support them. When you actually read the research, though, it was conducted by the company trying to sell you the product. Research should be conducted by independent, third parties who do not have a financial stake in the outcome.
Use of the words scientific, research, or proven. People use these words without grounds because they think people pay attention when they hear them. As stated already, you should be able to find the research yourself. True scientists do not use the word "proven" because nothing can be proven true. It is easy to prove something is wrong, but you cannot ever claim with 100% certainty that something is true.
One final warning. Many quick fix programs make no guarantee that their product will work. In the end, if it does not work, they place the blame for that on the child. They claim the child did not do it correctly or follow the program for long enough. Children with learning issues already have enough to worry about. They struggle with self-esteem on a daily basis. Please do not place them in a situation where they think they are the cause of yet another problem in their life.
A reliable source of information for anything related to learning disabilities is LDOnline. For even more information on learning disabilities check out our learning disabilities archive of articles.