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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 August;64(4):401-12


language: English, Italian

Learning disabilities: case study of the Piedmont Region in the years 2006-2007-2008

Bassi B. 1, Ramat C. 1, Rigardetto R. 1, Maspoli M. 2, Vellar G. 2

1 Section of Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Pediatric and Adolescence Sciences University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Piedmont Region Health Direction, Specialized and Hospital Assistance Department, Turin, Italy


AIM: The aim of the study is to analyse the comorbidity of learning disabilities (LD), its variation relating to the age of the children and to interpret the possible meaning of these data.
METHODS: All patients in age of compulsory education (aged 5-16) diagnosed as LD in Piedmont, registered in the Regional Informative System NPI.net, in the years 2006-2007-2008, were considered. The cases were divided in two age ranges: from 5 to 11 years the first one, from 12 to 16 years the second one. The cases were further subdivided according to comorbidity with 5 diagnostic categories, identifying: Pure LD; 2) LD + psychiatric disorders; 3) LD + psycho-developmental risk; 4) LD + not psychiatric disease; 5) LD + borderline intellectual functioning and mental retardation. The average values computed for each group of comorbidity in the three years for the two age ranges were statistically compared.
RESULTS:A major number of LD was observed in the age range 12-16; here LD is more often associated to psychiatric disorders and psycho-developmental risk. LD is more often pure from 5 to11 years.
CONCLUSION: LD may be an inducing factor for psychiatric pathologies and situations of psychodevelopmental risk. However the major amount of LD in the age range 12-16 may be due to the rising of psycho-developmental risk factors and of social-environmental disadvantage; so these data may underline a form of “adolescence uneasiness”, evident in school, in patients without major neurologic, psychiatric and cognitive disorders. The available data collection system facilitated this study.

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