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Larry B. Silver
Larry B. Silver, MD

Question:

If someone has a learning disability can it be considered a mental illness? We have a wonderful club in our city for those who suffer from mental illness. I have a friend who has a learning disability. I am curious if he can use their services.

Answer:

No, a Learning Disability is not a mental illness. Learning Disabilities are neurologically-based. They result from “faulty wiring” in specific areas of the brain. These disabilities will impact on an individual’s ability to process and to use information and, thus, can impact on this individual’s ability to be successful with reading, writing, math, and other learning tasks.

For more information on learning disabilities:

New to LD
Related Disorders of a Learning Disability

Larry B. Silver, M.D.
Dr. Silver, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, recently retired from private practice. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He has more than 150 research, public policy, and clinical publications, including his popular book for parents, The Misunderstood Child, now in its fourth edition. Silver has been active in LDA since 1969 and served as LDA President from 2000-2002. He currently co-chairs the LDA Professional Advisory Board.