Question: What causes a child to be a "slow learner"?
Dr. Dobson: There are many hereditary, environmental and physical factors that contribute to one's intellect, and it is difficult to isolate the particular influences. For many children who have difficulty in school, we never will know precisely why their ability to learn is limited. Let me tell you what is now known about intellectual development that may explain some - but not all - cases of learning deficits.
Accumulating evidence seems to indicate that some children who are slow learners and even those who have borderline retardation may not have received proper intellectual stimulation in their very early years. There appears to be a critical period during the first three to four years when the potential for intellectual growth must be seized. There are enzyme systems in the brain that must be activated during this brief window. If the opportunity is missed, the child never may reach his capacity.