Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 76-82

Specific learning disabilities and psychiatric comorbidities in school children in South India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Meenakshi Medical College and Research Institute, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Child Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry Unit, Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Malla Reddy Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Shailaja Bandla
D/O, B. Narasimha Rao, Srinagar Colony, Khammam X Road, Kodad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.198950

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Background: Specific learning disabilities (SLDs) are an important cause of academic underachievement in children and are also associated with comorbidities like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which further have an impact on the child's education. Aims: To estimate the prevalence and psychosocial profile and psychiatric comorbidities in children with SLD in two settings, i.e., on special (remedial) education and schools and to compare the findings with normal children. Materials and Methods: This study was carried out in schools situated in urban and semi-urban areas and special education schools. A total of 96 children were chosen for the study. After taking informed consent from the parents, the details about socioeconomic status, family, developmental history, and school history of the children were collected on a semi-structured pro forma and then the children were screened for SLD. They were administered colored/standard progressive matrices and Malin's intelligence scale for assessing their intelligence quotient and NIMHANS SLD index and developmental psychopathology checklist to study psychopathology. Chi-square test and ANOVA were done. Results: The prevalence of SLD in schools is found out to be 6.6%. There was a significant association with prematurity, cesarean section, delayed speech, and family history of SLD. Among comorbidities of SLD, association with ADHD alone has been found to be significant. Conclusion: The most common type of SLD is combined type comorbid with ADHD. There is a need for early identification of learning disabilities in schools so that with early recognition and remedial intervention children can be helped with to cope with studies.

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