Prevalence of Depressive Disorders in Children With Specific Learning Disabilities
Background: Learning disabled children are at risk for behavioral disorders, including depression. In India, diagnosis and interventions for learning disorders are limited.The purpose of the present study was to examine the prevalence of depression and its severity in school-aged children with specific learning disability (SLD) compared to non-learning disabled peers.
Methods: In a tertiary care pediatric neurodevelopmental centre in Mumbai, we identified 200 children consecutively over twelve months referred for low academic performance, by screening of clinical records, academic history, vision-hearing tests, who additionally underwent psychoeducational battery and cognitive testing at the center, and were determined to have average intelligence . but meeting criteria for Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The controls were 100 siblings of the children who were screened for SLD by curriculum based tests.. We assessed depression using Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS for 8-12 years) and Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI for 13-14 years).Additionally parental history of prescription medications for mental health needs was also noted. We performed multivariate logistic regression to study the association between SLD and depression. All activities were approved by the Institutional Review Board.
Results: The mean (S D) age of children with SLD was 11.9 (1.6) years and of non-SLD children was 11.2 (1.2) years.In SLD group the M:F ratio was 1.5:1 and in the non SLD it was 0.8:1. A significantly higher proportion of children with SLD reported that their academic and extracurricular activities were reduced compared to children without SLD (6% vs 0%, p
Key words: depression,, children ,learning disorders