The 5 Most Common Invisible Disabilities in Students

The 5 Most Common Invisible Disabilities in Students

Knowing how to recognize the signs of possible disabilities is important for both parents and teachers. Many disabilities manifest during the ages when children are starting school. However, some disabilities are what we call “invisible,” meaning they aren’t visually obvious. Discover the five most common invisible disabilities in students.

Psychiatric Disabilities

Psychiatric disabilities are common in both adults and children, though they can manifest differently depending on a person’s age and gender. Depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia are all invisible because they don’t usually have visual indicators. Kids with these kinds of disabilities may not understand exactly why they are struggling, making it very important that they receive ample support.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is another common invisible disability in students that can have major educational consequences. Students with ADHD often have trouble focusing on tasks and may appear hyperactive. Children as young as 3 years old can begin showing signs of ADHD, and it often shows up more strongly when they begin school.

Speech Disabilities

Speech disabilities include a variety of issues, including stuttering, lisping, mispronouncing words, and not being able to come up with the right words. They sometimes overlap with psychiatric and learning disabilities, though they can also be entirely independent. One way schools can help students with disabilities in this category is to offer therapy options from home, where students are more comfortable.

Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities can also halt a child’s development. They include things like dyslexia, nonverbal tendencies, and problems processing language and sound.

As children grow older, they may become frustrated that they are not able to do the same things as their peers. One thing you can do to help is giving your child (or student) activities to improve skill development.


Diabetes may be a problem with the health of the body, but it can have a major effect on a child’s ability to learn. Diabetes can cause a child’s blood sugar levels to become unbalanced, which in turn makes it harder to concentrate, listen, and think quickly. Additionally, the stigma of having diabetes and the interruptions it may cause can accentuate a student’s frustration.

Every student deserves the opportunity to learn, no matter their physical, emotional, or intellectual capabilities. Learning about unobvious disabilities can help make sure students get the educational support they need to be successful.

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