An Introduction to Learning Disabilities

What is a Learning Disability?

If your child is struggling in school and you aren’t sure why, a learning disability may be the cause. Think of it as a gap between what you would expect from your child and what she can actually do. Sometimes known as invisible disabilities, learning disabilities affect how a person’s brain works – how it processes information in areas like reading, writing and math.

Processing is what your brain does with information, it:

  • Receives
  • Processes
  • Stores
  • Responds and communicates what comes in

Differences in processing can affect one, some or all of these tasks. Having more than one type of processing difficulty is common. These are some of the tasks that can be affected by Learning Disabilities:

  • Trouble learning the alphabet and organizing the words in writing
  • Mistakes in reading aloud
  • Not understanding what is read
  • Forgetting sounds that letters make
  • Confusing math symbols
  • Misreading numbers

Common difficulties occur in:

  • Reading (Dyslexia)
  • Writing (Dysgraphia)
  • Doing Math (Dyscalculia)
  • Reasoning
  • Listening
  • Speaking

“Co-occurring” disabilities
Your child may have a combination of issues with learning. The ones listed below are not called LD, but they also impact a child’s learning. A child may have one or more of these along with his learning disability.

  • Auditory processing
  • Visual processing
  • Non-verbal learning disabilities
  • Problems with planning and organizing
  • ADHD

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