I’ve often wondered about overlap between anxiety, learning disabilities and ADHD. My assumption, as I think many teachers assume, was that the three go hand in hand. After all, having a learning disability such as dyslexia would be anxiety provoking, and having generalized anxiety might very well manifest as agitated and unfocused behavior. The truth is far more complex, as this article from Foot Hills Academy explores.
Sadly, these students are often treated in the same stock fashion from what observed in twenty years in education: their struggles are frequently seen as a nuisance to overworked and under-motivated teachers, and a burden to administration who would rather be doing something else. Occasionally these students will get lucky and meet and teacher or other adult in their educational community who diagnoses their specific struggles and treats them with the patience, understanding and respect they desperately need, but all too often, the traditional educational system fails them.
I worry about these kids in the pandemic, in particular, where the struggles of those with non-traditional learning patterns will certainly not receive nearly the natural attention they would in a normal school environment, nor will they be provided the opportunity to bump into that one special adult that changes their life. I hope my work will help mitigate this gap, particularly for with the disabilities that make education that much more challenging.