Similarities and overlapping of different learning disorders

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Similarities and overlapping of different learning disorders

I always find it interesting how there is so much overlap between different learning disorders. You take this one child and you take them to an educational therapist. They will tell you he has a processing disorder. That same child was sent home a week ago with a note from the teacher saying, "I think you should have your child checked because I think they are ADHD." You take your child into a child psychologist and they'll say, "I think he is on the Autism Spectrum." Why is that? My feeling is that the root cause for all of them is very similar. It has to do with visual, spatial, perceptual distortions and the ability to receive those distortions as reality. If you are triggered to that misperception by reading, you are dyslexic. If you are triggered to go there because of math, it's dyscalculia. When you do handwriting, maybe you are dysgraphic. Just because you watched a show last night and you were bored and you really preferred to watch in your head instead of the teacher, you are ADHD. When we are talking about the individual, the labels really aren't important. We have to treat every person separately. The one thing that is constant about dyslexia and ADD is that its not constant from person to person and day to day. The labels only give us a starting point to start the conversation.

See Angela Gonzales, MD's video on Similarities and overlapping of different learning disorders...


Expert Bio

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Angela Gonzales, MD

Dyslexia & ADD Specialist

Dr. Angela L. Gonzales (Dr. Angie) is a Pediatrician, Licensed Davis Facilitator, transformational speaker, and mother of three. Currently, Dr. Angie owns and runs Renaissance Mind in Norco, CA.  Renaissance Mind is a Learning Facility where Dr. Angie uses both her Davis Facilitator License and medical expertise. Through Renaissance Mind, she is able to help clients, educators and parents learn skills and techniques that help overcome the obstacles of learning that accompany the unique thinking styles of those with Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Renaissance Mind programs utilize multiple, non-pharmaceutical, techniques that are tactile, fun, and unique to each client.  The programs also include help with focusing, comprehension, math skills, reading and handwriting skills.  As a transformational and instructional speaker and educator, Dr. Angie has dedicated herself to helping others, of all ages, to find joy and peace in their lives.  Through Renaissance Mind she offers multiple educational courses and workshops that aid individuals on their path to total wellness of mind, body and soul.

Prior to running Renaissance Mind, Dr. Angie received her BA in Physiology from the University of California at San Diego and then went on to obtain a doctorate in medicine from Drew/UCLA School of Medicine.  She completed her pediatric residency at Martin Luther King Hospital and then spent an additional year as Chief Resident to aid in teaching pediatric residents. Following her medical training she worked in Downey, California as a general pediatrician for seven years.  During this time she served on multiple committees both at the clinic and hospital.  

As Dr. Angie's family grew she transitioned her time from the clinic to time with her children, trading her full time practice for part time work covering other physicians’ practices when necessary. As her youngest child’s school experience increased in difficulty, she left medicine to aid in his education. Despite her efforts at homeschooling, her son continued to have learning challenges.  It wasn’t until she found a Davis® Facilitator that her son began to have success in school. She saw the success in her son defined by increasing reading ability, appropriate coping mechanisms and improving self esteem and confidence.  Her son’s success was her inspiration to go back to work, but not as a physician, as a Davis® Facilitator. As she began her journey, providing answers for those with learning differences, she realized that the sum total of the individual was far more than just their ability to learn.  She began to work with the total individual to promote total wellness.  This led her into her other passion: helping to heal the whole person. 

Dr. Angie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and is a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She currently resides in Riverside, CA with her husband of 23 years, her four children (including her nephew) and three dogs.

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