Research Topic

Interpreting the Comorbidity of Learning Disorders

About this Research Topic

Developmental dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia are referred to as “specific” learning disorders since they occur in the absence of deficits in general cognitive skills (intelligence) and neurological disorders, and in spite of regular school attendance. Studies have typically focused on only one of these developmental disorders (whether reading, spelling or maths). However, learning disorders (as well as other developmental disorders, such as developmental language disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder - ADHD) tend to co-occur much more frequently than what would be expected on the basis of chance, a phenomenon referred to as comorbidity.

In the last years, research on developmental comorbidities has made some advancements and clearly indicates that comorbidity is a widespread phenomenon such that co-occurrence of disorders does not only concern “close” syndromes within a given domain (or homotypic comorbidity) but also occurs among “distant” syndromes (or heterotypic comorbidity). However, the reasons why in some cases learning disorders present themselves in isolated forms while in others they appear in associated forms are still poorly understood. Overall, while much is known about each single learning disorder (whether in reading, writing and calculation), much less is known about the factors that determine the co-presence of these disorders.

The present Research Topic aims to bring together studies that specifically focus on understanding the factors that support the presence of co-morbid symptoms, particularly in the case of learning disorders (such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia) but also in related developmental disorders (including ADHD, developmental language and coordination disorders). Research comparing children with isolated versus comorbid learning disorders is particularly welcome but studies on typically developing children may also be interesting to the extent in which they have implications for understanding comorbidity of learning disorders. Comorbidity of learning disorders may be approached with different methodologies including behavioral, cognitive, neurophysiological and neuroimaging methods; further, neurobiological and genetic studies are also of great potential impact. Overall, we welcome empirical studies based on this broad variety of research methods as well as theoretical papers that focus on interpreting the comorbidity of learning disorders.

Dr. Chiara Banfi (University of Graz) will collaborate in designing the scope of the Research Topic and contribute to the managing of the articles in the RT.


Keywords: comorbidity, learning disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Developmental dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia are referred to as “specific” learning disorders since they occur in the absence of deficits in general cognitive skills (intelligence) and neurological disorders, and in spite of regular school attendance. Studies have typically focused on only one of these developmental disorders (whether reading, spelling or maths). However, learning disorders (as well as other developmental disorders, such as developmental language disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder - ADHD) tend to co-occur much more frequently than what would be expected on the basis of chance, a phenomenon referred to as comorbidity.

In the last years, research on developmental comorbidities has made some advancements and clearly indicates that comorbidity is a widespread phenomenon such that co-occurrence of disorders does not only concern “close” syndromes within a given domain (or homotypic comorbidity) but also occurs among “distant” syndromes (or heterotypic comorbidity). However, the reasons why in some cases learning disorders present themselves in isolated forms while in others they appear in associated forms are still poorly understood. Overall, while much is known about each single learning disorder (whether in reading, writing and calculation), much less is known about the factors that determine the co-presence of these disorders.

The present Research Topic aims to bring together studies that specifically focus on understanding the factors that support the presence of co-morbid symptoms, particularly in the case of learning disorders (such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia) but also in related developmental disorders (including ADHD, developmental language and coordination disorders). Research comparing children with isolated versus comorbid learning disorders is particularly welcome but studies on typically developing children may also be interesting to the extent in which they have implications for understanding comorbidity of learning disorders. Comorbidity of learning disorders may be approached with different methodologies including behavioral, cognitive, neurophysiological and neuroimaging methods; further, neurobiological and genetic studies are also of great potential impact. Overall, we welcome empirical studies based on this broad variety of research methods as well as theoretical papers that focus on interpreting the comorbidity of learning disorders.

Dr. Chiara Banfi (University of Graz) will collaborate in designing the scope of the Research Topic and contribute to the managing of the articles in the RT.


Keywords: comorbidity, learning disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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