Learning Disability

Learning Disability is a broad term that includes:

  • Developmental speech and language disorders
  • Academic Skills Disorders
  • Other disorders such as a coordination or other non-specific learning problems

Learning disabilities affect the child’s ability to learn in school. Difficulty with spoken and written language, attention, and visual perception often indicate a learning problem. Academically, these children are often behind in school in learning to read, write or do math.

Reading Disorders are characterized by challenges with accurately decoding, reading fluently and/or understanding what someone has read. Often children with reading problems have trouble recognizing the sounds associated with letters, and distinguishing or separating the sounds in spoken words. Children with challenges in reading may have difficulty remembering what they have read, understanding the grammar and syntax used or even building images from what was read. People are often familiar with the term “Dyslexia” which simply means, “reading disorder.”

Writing Disorders may be characterized by deficits in language formulation, punctuation, spelling, and even handwriting problems. Some children have difficulty formulating sentences using appropriate grammar and syntax to express the meanings or thoughts they want to share. Other children have difficulty putting their thoughts down on paper. They may struggle to begin their story, sequence information and provide closure to their thoughts. At times the simultaneous complex process of using good spelling, punctuation and expressing ones thoughts may challenge the child. The process of reading material and writing about what one has read can be overwhelming for some children with writing disorders.

Arithmetic Disorders are characterized by challenges recognizing numbers, memorizing facts, and understanding concepts.

[Source: National Institutes of Health, 1993]