2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


The Effect of Undiagnosed Learning Differences in Generations of Families

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Lisa Beymer


The purpose of this research is to advocate for familial history to be used in the special education process for the benefit of the student and the student's family. This research will help teachers, administrators, parents, and even students by teaching how learning differences can be genetic and how this vital information can bring knowledge to families.

The researcher conducted an informal literature review in the spring of 2022 regarding genetics in learning disabilities. Research shows that genetics can affect reading, reading comprehension, mathematics, language, spelling, and general educational achievement. It also goes unnoticed that many families do not know how learning differences can be genetic, for example, Erbeli et. al. explains that “Children with a family history who developed dyslexia were read to less often by their fathers with children with no family history (Scarborough1991).”

Previous research indicates that genetic testing for learning differences can be key in working with families who are generationally undiagnosed and could help with the services that the families might need. The researcher has created a study to identify how genetic testing may prepare the next generation of families who have learning differences.

The researcher found that communication is key because communicating with families about their children's learning differences and discussing familial history is very important. Strong communication could potentially have parents decide to have their children evaluated to see if their child has a learning difference or impairment. This information is vital because discussing family history could have more parents accepting the special education process for their children. Then, this will lead to learning differences and impairments going through the early intervention process.

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