LD Basics

A learning disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to process information. Children with LD are as intelligent as others, they just learn differently.


Learning disabilities have nothing to do with how smart a child is – many children with LD have above average intelligence – but it impairs their ability to read, write, and learn in a mainstream environment.

Most children with learning disabilities have the aptitude for a life of success, but it takes testing, advocacy, and educational services to unlock their potential – not readily available for families living in need.

Undiagnosed and untreated learning disabilities are the underlying source of so many struggles. For thousands of children, learning is impossible. Not because they aren't trying – but because their families don't have the resources to get them the essential support they need.


Learning disabilities cover a wide range of functional and learning difficulties. Most children suffer from more than one type learning disability, as well as ADHD (which is not a learning disability). In addition, there are co-existing disorders such as oppositional behavior, depression and anxiety issues.

Often, the NYC Department of Education is not able to identify properly all the children who suffer from learning disabilities, leading to insufficient provision of services or no services at all.


Left untreated, learning disabilities often lead to debilitating low self-esteem, drug use, teenage pregnancy, crime and lifelong poverty.

  • 80% of students with serious learning disabilities will not graduate
  • 60% of teens being treated for substance abuse have learning disabilities
  • 75% of juvenile offenders in NYC have undetected learning disabilities


The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated. We know that when children receive effective support early enough, they can achieve success in school and beyond. Without this critical support, the consequences are dire.

PROMISE PROJECT can help before it's too late.

To Top