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Original Articles

Learning difficulties in children attending a special clinic at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital

Authors:

W G D T D Wijeratne ,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About W G D T D
Medical student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
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N W N Y Wijesekera,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About N W N Y
Medical student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
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R T Wijesinghe,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About R T
Medical student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
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S H Kariyawasam

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About S H
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
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Abstract

Objectives To identify presentations of children with
learning difficulties attending Child Psychiatry and
Guidance Clinic (CPGC) at Lady Ridgeway Hospital
(LRH) and describe their socio-demographic
characteristics, health-seeking behaviour and modes
of referral.

Design Descriptive cross sectional study.

Method Children diagnosed to have learning
difficulties or attention deficit hyperactive disorder
(ADHD), presenting to CPGC at LRH from 27 May
to 10 June 2003, were included in study. Learning
difficulties were diagnosed by a child psychiatrist
using DSM IV criteria. A pre-tested, interviewer
administered questionnaire (IAQ) was used to collect
socio-demographic data, details on health-seeking
behaviour and modes of referral from parents/
guardians. A checklist was used to identify
presentations.

Results 52 children with learning difficulties were
identified and all participated in study. Presentations
were with difficulties in reading (70%), mathematics
(60%), writing (55%), communication (45%) and
motor skills (50%). ADHD was found in 60% cases.
85% were males. Mean age was 9 years. 31% had
deficit of schooling. 54% were urban dwellers.
Caretaker was mother in 83% cases. Monthly income
was greater than 3000 rupees in 92% cases. 89%
children were identified by mother or teacher. Initial
visits were made to a specialist unit (62%) or a
primary health care service (31%).

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2003; 32: 96-104

(Key words: Learning difficulties, children)

doi: 10.4038/sljch.v32i4.692

How to Cite: Wijeratne, W.G.D.T.D., Wijesekera, N.W.N.Y., Wijesinghe, R.T. and Kariyawasam, S.H., 2009. Learning difficulties in children attending a special clinic at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 32(4), pp.96–104. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v32i4.692
Published on 12 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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