What Are Learning Disabilities?
The term learning disabilities (LD) refers to an array of problems that cause bright and capable children to have difficulty learning. Although LD cannot be outgrown or “cured,” it can be compensated for and remediated.
Many learning disabilities involve language. These language-based learning disabilities, also referred to as dyslexia or reading disabilities and others commonly referred to as specific learning disabilities may show up as problems with reading, writing (dysgraphia), spelling, speaking, listening, and/or math (dyscalculia).
It’s important to understand that children with LD may be highly intelligent and have considerable strengths upon which to build. The better you understand the exact nature of your child’s difficulties, the greater your chances are of helping him achieve success academically and socially.
In contrast to language learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) are linked with difficulties in the three-dimensional world, which impact the ability to learn from nonverbal information. Kids with NLD often have trouble understanding the “big picture,” and because social interaction relies heavily on the exchange of nonverbal cues, children with NLD may be socially awkward.
Although it is not included in the term specific learning disabilities, ADHD occurs often among children with learning disabilities and also interferes significantly with a child’s ability to learn and function both in school and at home.
What Learning Disabilities Are NOT
Learning disabilities are not the result of
- Low intelligence
- Poor instruction
- Lack of motivation
- Emotional disturbances
- Seeing or hearing problems