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Reading Learning Disorder Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Eric R Crouch, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
Updated: May 27, 2016

Diagnostic Considerations

Developmental delays can occur in various genetic syndromes. Genetics conditions, such as Sotos, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, should be ruled out. The coarse features and corneal clouding of mucopolysaccharidoses should also be excluded as poor academic performance can be associated with developmental delays. Metabolic conditions should also be considered, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes. Agenesis of the corpus callosum, optic nerve hypoplasia, and septo-optic dysplasia should be ruled out as part of multi-disciplinary evaluation. The pediatric neurologist can determine if ventriculomegaly or neurodegenerative disorders are present.

Convergence insufficiency disorders should be ruled out in the evaluation of a child with poor or delayed reading and prescribed orthoptic treatment as initial treatment of any convergence insufficiency.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Eric R Crouch, MD Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Eastern Virginia Medical School; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters; Consulting Staff, Virginia Pediatric Eye Center

Eric R Crouch, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, American College of Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Peter M Dozier, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School; Director, Division of Child Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Peter M Dozier, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Caroly Pataki, MD Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Caroly Pataki, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Academy of Sciences, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD Professor and Section Head, Academic General Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine; Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, Texas Children’s Hospital

Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Harris County Medical Society, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Ray E Helfer Society

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Integrated Community Systems for CSHCN Grant for other; Received advisory board from Baxter Healthcare Corporation for board membership.


The authors and editors of eMedicine gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author W Douglas Tynan, PhD, to the development and writing of this article.

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