What is the role of a psychiatrist for a learning disability?
A psychiatrist can conduct assessments and interviews to help identify and diagnose a learning disability. A psychiatrist can also check for the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as it may coexist with learning disabilities. A psychiatrist is also trained to assess for the presence of any other disorders that could be contributing to the child’s poor academic performance. Also, a psychiatrist can prescribe medications for conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc. if present.
How can a psychiatrist help the family members of a child with a learning disability?
A psychiatrist can help the family members of a child with a specific learning disability (SLD) understand the diagnosis and its implications. A psychiatrist can also help the family understand the differences between slow learning and SLD so that they can set realistic expectations from the child’s academic performances. A psychiatrist can also help in the devising of a special instruction curriculum for the child in collaboration with teachers and parents.
What other professionals other than a psychiatrist could help with learning disability?
Therapists can help the child with SLD deal with the emotional difficulties and challenges they face as a result of their learning disability. Therapists can also help address other mental health conditions the child may have such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc. and help enhance the child’s confidence and self-efficacy. A special educator can work with the child to work on the subjects they have difficulty in; a speech therapist can help the child enhance their language capabilities; and an occupational therapist can help the child improve their motor skills if they have writing problems.
Are psychiatrist’s medications necessary for someone with a learning disability?
A psychiatrist would not prescribe medications for treating specific learning disabilities (SLD). However, medications may be required for other mental health conditions that the child with SLD may have such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc.