Neurogenetic and Developmental Learning Differences
Is My Child an Atypical Learner?
Children who exhibit the following symptoms are considered "atypical learners" and could possibly have an X & Y Chromosomal Variation, Developmental Dyspraxia and/or Dyslexia.
It's believed that 40 percent of all children with developmental delays will be diagnosed with a neurogenetic disorder. Parents with a child who has developmental delays or developmental dysfunction should consider asking their child's primary care provider to draw to draw blood for a karyotype (also called a chromosomal analysis) or provide a referral to a clinical geneticist for an evaluation. Such an evaluation and lab testing should:
These findings are important for diagnosing syndromes, identifying related medical issues and developing appropriate, targeted treatment plans for educational and neurodevelopmental success. For instance, the following disorders are frequently present in children who exhibit developmental and learning differences. Dr. Samango-Sprouse is especially regarded for her expertise with these conditions, which are the focus of The Focus Foundation, a not-for-profit educational and research foundation created in 2005 by Dr. Samango-Sprouse.
X & Y Chromosomal Variations
As a neurogenetic disorder, X & Y Chromosomal Variations are collectively known by many names, among them: Sex Chromosome Disorders, X & Y Variations, Sex Chromosome Anaomaly and Sex Chromosome Aneuploidy. Within the disorder are many sub-categories, which are identified by names including Klinefelter's Syndrome, 49 XXXXY, Tetrasomy X, 49 XXXX, Paentasomy X, 48 XXY and 47 XXY.
X & Y Variations are common but frequently undiagnosed genetic conditions that differ from the normal sex chromosome pairings of XX for females and XY for males. Due to a chromosomal mistake that produces additional X or Y chromosome to the normal complement of 46, the resulting total of 47 chromosomes (or more) may impact all aspects of a child's developing central nervous system and his or her body condition.
Widespread misinformation about these conditions cause unnecessary distress to families dealing with such a diagnosis. Contrary to common belief:
With the proper diagnosis and help, these children do succeed at higher education and lead productive, indepentent lives.
More than 500,000 people in the United States are believed to have a sex chromosome anomaly. Research reveals that 7 out of 10 children with XXY, XXX and XYY chromosomal disorders are undiagnosed, with only 10 to 20 percent identified from amniocentesis performed due to advanced maternal age.
Although these disorders are associated with language-based learning disabilities, children remain largely undiagnosed because their neurodevelopmental problems are often perceived as "just a speech delay" o "just clumsiness," or "just laziness" or, as children become older, "merely a learning disability."
Developmental Dyspraxia, also called Dyspraxia or Childhood Apraxia of Speech, is characterized by impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. Generally, individuals with the disorder appear "out of sync" with their environment.
Symptoms vary and may include poor balance and coordination, clumsiness, perception hardships, emotional and behavioral challenges, poor social skills, atypical posture, problems with short-term memory and difficulty with reading, writing and speaking. Although children with the disorder may be of average or above average intelligence, they may behave immaturely.
While the prevalence of Developmental Dyspraxia in the general population is unknown, we do know that it occurs four times more often in boys than in girl. Children failing in school is a common concern today; it's likely that many of these boys and girls have Developmental Dyspraxia or an X & Y Variation, or both.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin and impacts word recognition, reading and decoding abilities. It is believed to be present in up to 10 percent of the U.S. population.
Dyslexia typically results from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and knowledge, which increases the likelihood of academic failure and poor self-concept.
Children with Dyslexia struggle academically but are not "dumb" or "lazy." While Dyslexia is often debilitating if not addressed, the condition can be successfully managed—and even overcome. It isn't uncommon for children who have Dyslexia to also have Developmental Dyspraxia, but the existence of the latter is often overlooked or not understood. Additionally, because Dyslexia or reading dysfunction frequently occurs in children who have X & Y Chromosomal Variations, it's important to rule out a chromosomal cause for Dyslexia.