An Un-diagnosed learning disability (ULD) is a pre-existing learning disorder that was not recognized, not tested, or diagnose. Generally, ULD vary from individual to individual and may present in a variety of ways. Learning disabilities may manifest as difficulty: (1) processing information by visual and auditory, means, which may impact upon reading, spelling, writing, and understanding or using language, (2) prioritizing, organizing, doing mathematics, and following instructions, (3) storing or retrieving information from short or long term memory, (4) using spoken language, and (5) difficulty with handwriting.
These disabilities are life long impairments that can impact a child’s academic performance and fondness for school. Usually, children with a ULD will develop some type of coping strategies to deal with their learning problems.
A common coping strategy used by most ULD children is peer support. This is when an un-diagnosed child seeks out a classmate, who is willing to provide him/her academic assistance. For example, this classmate may support their friend by reviewing the main points of a teacher’s lesson or sharing and comparing responses to a class assignment. As these students communicate with one another, they enter into a peer support relationship. To the un-diagnosed youth, this classmate is perceived as a tutor in the classroom, which is necessary for his /her academic success.
Another way kids manage their ULD is by relying on family members. Not only do caregivers provided academic assistance, but more importantly; they look after their child’ self-esteem. It is typically for individuals with ULD to suffer from low self-esteem, or extreme shame for their inability to master academic content. Family members can help their children feel smart by acknowledging their efforts and praising their progress. They also tend to highlight their strengths in non-academic areas.
ULD children may face many academic trials throughout their K-12 experience.
In order to meet theses challenge, they must believe in their intelligence. These children will be judged by their school community. Their school community may perceive them as “lazy” for their inability to complete their school work quickly and independently. If ULD children are repeatedly told this message, they will eventually begin to doubt their potential to evolve into a successful learner. These self-doubts – in time- develop into a defeatist self-image.
Rather than letting these “negative perception” overcome them and drain their resolve, some of these kids find a way to prevail in school. They learn how to direct their teachers’ and classmates’ attention towards their academic strengths. These kids do not allow their school community to knock them down, instead they figure ways to better themselves academically.
Living with an ULD is a painful struggle for many of these children. It takes many years for them to develop coping strategies to help others accept that they are intelligent and can excel in a variety of academic settings.