Learning Disabilities

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by NinaPrice
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies

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Learning Disabilities

Learning DisabilitiesEDUC 735 - Session 4

Nearly 5% of all students attending public school receive special education services for a specific learning disability (https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=64). On this glog you will find basic descriptions of the primary specific learning disabilities for which students qualify for an IEP and links to additional resources (which can be accessed by clicking on the title of each learning disability). According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, "Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention. It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace." (http://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/)It is important to note that learning disabilities cannot be cured - they are part of the individual's neurological wiring and will present lifelong challenges. That said, by better understanding specific learning disabilities educators can effectively support learners and help them optimize their strengths to address their learning challenges.

Also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder, individuals with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. They can also find it difficult to tell where sounds are coming from, to make sense of the order of sounds, or to block out competing background noises.

Auditory Processing Disorder

Dysgraphia affects handwriting ability and fine motor skills. A person with this specific learning disability may have problems including illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time.


Early explanations of dyslexia, put forth in the 1920s, held that defects in the visual system were to blame for the reversals of letters and words thought to typify dyslexic reading. Eye training was often prescribed to overcome these alleged visual defects. Subsequent research has shown, however, that children with dyslexia are not unusually prone to reversing letters or words and that the cognitive deficit responsible for the disorder is related to the language system. In particular, dyslexia reflects a deficiency in the processing of the distinctive linguistic units, called phonemes, that make up all spoken and written words. Current linguistic models of reading and dyslexia now provide an explanation of why some very intelligent people have trouble learning to read and performing other language-related tasks.


Dyspraxis involves problems with movement and coordination, language and speech. More specifically it is a disorder that is characterized by difficulty in muscle control, which causes problems with movement and coordination, language and speech, and can affect learning. Although not a learning disability, Dyspraxia often exists along with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia or ADHD.


Executive functioning challenges involve an inefficiency in the cognitive management systems of the brain that affects a variety of neuropsychological processes such as planning, organization, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. Although not categorized as a specific learning disability, different patterns of weakness in executive functioning are almost always seen in the learning profiles of individuals who have specific learning disabilities or ADHD.

Executive Functioning

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. Individuals with this type of LD may also have poor comprehension of math symbols, may struggle with memorizing and organizing numbers, have difficulty telling time, or have trouble with counting.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms can make it difficult for a child with ADHD to succeed in school, get along with other children or adults, or finish tasks at home.



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