Neurodevelopmental Precursors to Learning Disabilities: A Preliminary Report from a Parent Survey

Julie Blumsack, Lawrence Lewandowski, Betsy Waterman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study documented the number and type of neurodevelopmental problems reported by parents of children with and without learning disabilities (LD), and examined whether a pattern of problems could be identified. One hundred parents, 50 for each group, responded to a retrospective developmental survey. Their children were between 9 and 13 years of age and had a history of either typical academic achievement or classification of a learning disability. Results indicated that the children with learning disabilities were reported to have significantly more neurodevelopmental problems or delays across domains (e.g., language, motor, attention, social behavior) than normal achievers. The study showed that a sizeable portion, although not all, of the children with LD had a history of neurodevelopmental problems. Despite findings that suggest that some difficulties more commonly co-occurred than others, a pattern of neurodevelopmental difficulties was not observed in these children. However, some specific difficulties, such as with following multistep directions, printing letters of the alphabet, and understanding directions (e.g., up, down, right, left), seemed to most typify the students with learning disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-237
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of learning disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • General Health Professions


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