How much of learning disabilities are caused?

I discussed this point with a woman at the last conference I went to. She was a PhD candidate in Computer Science. She said that learning disabilities are NOT caused by people expecting others to do too much. But instead of saying how that was not so, she said that it wasn’t true because the people who said it used it as an argument to downplay LD support.

I asked her if something were false simply because people used it in a bad way. The other person at the table said I must be a rhetorician. It seems to me that I must be a truth seeker.

Anyway, that’s been on my mind since I came home from California.

Then I saw Joanne Jacobs’s post on this question:

How many learning disabilities are school made, caused by teaching methods or curricula? Vicky S asks the question on Kitchen Table Math.

Catherine Johnson comes up with one estimate: 70 percent of significant reading problems, which often lead to a learning disability diagnosis, could be eliminated by early identification and intervention.

In 2008, I visited two charter schools that specialized in integrating special ed and mainstream students, including gifted students. At both schools, the principal said entering kindergarteners were screened for developmental issues — movement, coordination, vision, hearing, etc. — that often lead to school problems and a disability diagnosis. Those who needed help got it immediately. Very few went on to need special education. The principal at one school said he thought few learning disabled students had a genuine, unpreventable disability. I can’t remember the percentage he came up with. Ten percent? Twenty percent? It’s part of the Hopes, Fears & Reality 2008 report by the Center on Reinventing Public Education.

It’s just another reason to homeschool. And, thankfully, it is one of the reasons that I was pushed by God into homeschooling. Because I am sure my youngest son would have had learning disabilities had I not done that.