Different Types Of Learning Disabilities


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Affects A Persons Handwriting Ability And Fine Motor Skills

Learning Disabilities, What Are the Different Types?

Dysgraphia is a learning disability which involves impaired ability to produce legible and automatic letter writing and often numeral writing, the latter of which may interfere with math.

Dysgraphia is rooted in difficulty with storing and automatically retrieving letters and numerals.

Individuals with dysgraphia often have difficulties in Executive Functions .

Signs And Symptoms Of Learning Disabilities And Disorders

If you’re worried, don’t wait

If you suspect that your child’s learning difficulties may require special assistance, please do not delay in finding support. The sooner you move forward, the better your child’s chances for reaching their full potential.

Learning disabilities look very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but can’t understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders.

It’s not always easy to identify learning disabilities. Because of the wide variations, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look to as proof of a problem. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages. If you’re aware of what they are, you’ll be able to catch a learning disorder early and quickly take steps to get your child help.

The following checklists offer some common red flags for learning disorders. Remember that children who dont have learning disabilities may still experience some of these difficulties at various times. The time for concern is when there is a consistent unevenness in your childs ability to master certain skills.

Social And Emotional Skills: How You Can Help

Learning disabilities can be extremely frustrating for children. Imagine having trouble with a skill all of your friends are tackling with ease, worrying about embarrassing yourself in front of the class, or struggling to express yourself. Things can be doubly frustrating for exceptionally bright children with learning disabilitiesa scenario thats not uncommon.

Kids with learning disabilities may have trouble expressing their feelings, calming themselves down, and reading nonverbal cues from others. This can lead to difficulty in the classroom and with their peers. The good news is that, as a parent, you can have a huge impact in these areas. Social and emotional skills are the most consistent indicators of success for all childrenand that includes kids with learning disorders. They outweigh everything else, including academic skills, in predicting lifelong achievement and happiness.

Learning disabilities, and their accompanying academic challenges, can lead to low self-esteem, isolation, and behavior problems, but they don’t have to. You can counter these things by creating a strong support system for children with learning disabilities and helping them learn to express themselves, deal with frustration, and work through challenges. By focusing on your child’s growth as a person, and not just on academic achievements, you’ll help them to learn good emotional habits that set the stage for success throughout life.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Learning Disabilities

If someone has a learning disability, they will struggle more in one or more areas of learning than would be expected for their level of intelligence. They will be behind other people of their age and background in that area of learning.

Some common signs that someone has a learning disability include:

  • they find it very hard to spell
  • they dislike reading
  • they can understand and talk about things, but seem unable to write about them
  • their handwriting is very messy
  • they have trouble with rhyming or hearing sounds in words
  • they find it hard to remember words, numbers, letters or instructions
  • they dislike school or are not confident about their abilities at school
  • as well as academic problems, they may have time management, organisation and social difficulties

These symptoms apply to many children. But if time goes on and a child is continuing to experience problems with their learning, it could be a learning disability.

Learning Disabilities In Reading

7 Types of Learning Disabilities Explained

There are two types of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. Reading comprehension problems occur when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.

Signs of reading difficulty include problems with:

  • Letter and word recognition.
  • General vocabulary skills.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Learning Disabilities: Ages 10

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills.
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems.
  • Dislikes reading and writing avoids reading aloud.
  • Poor handwriting.
  • Poor organizational skills .
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud.
  • Spells the same word differently in a single document.

Paying attention to developmental milestones can help you identify learning disorders

Paying attention to normal developmental milestones for toddlers and preschoolers is very important. Early detection of developmental differences may be an early signal of a learning disability and problems that are spotted early can be easier to correct.

A developmental lag might not be considered a symptom of a learning disability until your child is older, but if you recognize it when your child is young, you can intervene early. You know your child better than anyone else does, so if you think there is a problem, it doesn’t hurt to get an evaluation. You can also ask your pediatrician for a developmental milestones chart or access one in the Get more help section below.

Getting Diagnosed With A Learning Disability

It can be upsetting to get a diagnosis, but it is important to do so as it allows people to access the care and support they need during their life.

· A learning disability can be diagnosed at any time in a persons life.

· It is possible to diagnose someone at birth or during their early childhood.

· Some people never get diagnosed or wait years before getting diagnosed.

Talk to a GP if you are worried about your childs development. Difficulties with development can be caused by a childs eyesight or hearing, a condition such as autism or a learning disability.

After receiving a diagnosis, a persons needs should be assessed by social services to help them find the support and care they need.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Learning Disabilities: Preschool Age

  • Problems pronouncing words.
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, or days of the week.
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines.
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors, or coloring within the lines.
  • Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, or learning to tie shoes.

A Guide To The 7 Types Of Learning Disabilities

Understanding Common Types of Learning Disabilities

Children with learning and attention issues are as smart as their peers and with the right support can achieve at high levels, but a lack of early or effective interventions leads too many kids on a downward spiral. ~ Mimi Corcoran, President and CEO of National Center for Learning Disabilities

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, one in five children in the United States have learning or attention disabilities. It is important to understanding the nuances and challenges posed by each unique learning disability so that parents, educators, policy makers, and society as a whole can strive towards creating environments that enable all students to thrive. This infographic by PlaygroundEquipment.com aims to raise awareness on 7 primary types of learning disabilities:

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Diagnosing Learning Disabilities Early

When a child with a learning disability is giving their best effort and still not learning, its easy for them to have low self-esteem or just give up on school. With the right Individualized Education Program or 504 accommodations, your child can learn at their level and do better in school. By acting early, you can help your child be more successful from here on out.

To find out how to get your public school to test for learning disabilities and get accommodations, see our page on special education 101 or Section 504 .

Profound And Multiple Learning Disability

A profound and multiple learning disability is when a person has a severe learning disability and other disabilities that significantly affect their ability to communicate and be independent.

Someone with a profound and multiple learning disability might have difficulties seeing, hearing, speaking and moving. They may have complicated health and social care needs due to these or other conditions.

People with a profound and multiple learning disability need support to help them with some areas of their life, such as eating, washing or personal care.

Lots of people with a profound and multiple learning disability can still be involved in decisions about themselves, do things they enjoy and be independent.

Some people who struggle with talking might be able to use other ways of communication, like sign language, Signalong, Makaton, or digital systems like picture exchange communication systems .

Page last reviewed: 10 January 2022 Next review due: 10 January 2025

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Classification Of Learning Disorder

Learning difficulties are classified at multiple levels, including categorizing children as LD, usually achieving, or mentally inferior, and within LD, as reading versus math impaired. LD is distinguished from types of low achievement that are expected due to emotional disturbance, social or cultural disadvantage, or inadequate instruction, and is identified as a particular type of unexpected low achievement across classes of presumed childhood conditions that produce underachievement .

LD is rarely conceptualized as a single disability in any federal or non-federal classification rather, it is represented as a broad category that includes difficulties in any one or a combination of academic disciplines. The federal definition of 1968 specifies seven domains: listening speaking basic reading reading comprehension arithmetic calculation mathematics reasoning and written expression. The inclusion of these seven aspects of impairment in the federal classification assures that the LD category encompasses a wide range of learning issues and that the very diverse learning problems should be grouped together. Even today, many studies simply label groups of students as learning disabled, despite mounting evidence that LD correlates with poor reading, math, and other subjects .

What Is A Learning Disability

excitedabouteducation2013: LEARNING DISABILITIES: Definitions, Etiology ...

A child who has a learning disability does not process information in the same way as a typically developing child of the same age. By processing, we mean that a child hears, touches, sees, reads, or smells something that sends a message to their brains. Then, they make sense of what is going on and possibly take action. When a child has a processing difference or learning disability, the information might not flow to and from their brain and body as smoothly. It might get stuck or take a turn along the way. These processing differences can make it hard for a child to learn if teachers and other school staff do not know about them or make accommodations.

You might hear processing differences called learning differences. You might even use this term yourself because it feels better to you and your child. However, using the word disability at your childs school and when looking for other services and supports is very important. A learning difference alone might not be enough to justify 504 accommodations. See our Section 504 page to learn more about 504 accommodations. And to get special education services, your child must have a disability that fits in one of the 13 groups listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act . Specific Learning Disability is one of these groups, but there is no group for learning differences.

Some common learning disabilities include:

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What Are Specific Types Of Learning Disabilities

A specific learning disability is unique to the individual and can appear in a variety of ways. It may be difficult to diagnose, to determine impact, and to accommodate. Generally speaking, someone may be diagnosed with a learning disability if they are of average or above-average intelligence and there is a lack of achievement at age and ability level or there is a large discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability.

An untrained observer may conclude that a person with a learning disability is “lazy” or “just not trying hard enough.” He may have a difficult time understanding the large discrepancy between reading comprehension and proficiency in verbal ability. The observer sees only the input and output, not the processing of the information. Deficiencies in the processing of information make learning and expressing ideas difficult or impossible tasks. Learning disabilities usually fall within four broad categories:

  • Spoken language-listening and speaking
  • -reading, writing, and spelling
  • Arithmetic-calculation and concepts
  • Reasoning-organization and integration of ideas and thoughts

Signs And Symptoms Of Types Of Learning Disabilities

  • Issues understanding and additionally composing
  • Issues with math
A youngster with any type of learning disability may have at least one of the following:
  • Acting without considering potential results
  • Carrying on in school or social circumstances
  • Trouble remaining on track drawn offtrack
  • Trouble saying a word so anyone can hear or communicating musings
  • Issues with school execution from one multi-week to another or everyday
  • Talking like a little kid utilizing short, basic expressions or leaving out words in sentences
  • Struggling tuning in
  • Issues managing changes in timetable or circumstances
  • Issues getting comments or ideas

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What Is The Difference Between A Learning Disability And A Learning Difficulty

A learning disability is linked to an overall cognitive impairment and affects a persons intellect, whereas a learning difficulty does not affect general intelligence . Moreover a learning difficulty tends to affect a specific form of learning, whereas a learning disability usually affects many parts of someones life.

It is possible to have both a learning disability and a learning difficulty. Moreover, some people experience more than one learning difficulty at once, and someone can have a mild, moderate or severe learning difficulty. The most commonly known learning difficulties include:

· Dyslexia

· Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


Dyslexia is the most well-known learning difficulty. It affects peoples writing and speaking as it makes processing information and concentrating difficult.


Dyspraxia affects a persons movement and coordination. This can make driving, balancing and playing sport difficult.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADHD affects a persons behaviour. It can make someone feel restless, act impulsively or find it hard to concentrate.

Treatment For Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities and Disorders: Types in Students

There is no medication or medical treatment to help improve a learning disability but interventions are available. Manu children with comorbid ADHD and LDs see improvement in both when following a treatment plan that includes ADHD medication. In addition, educational strategies can be incorporated into your childs classroom through an IEP or 504 Plan.

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But My Child Doesnt Act Like This At Home

When a teacher tells you about your childs learning and school behavior challenges, it can be hard to know what to think. It might sound like the teacher is describing a completely different person.

The school environment is very different from the way things are at home. There is a strict schedule and a lot of transitions . There are a lot of things to look at, read, listen to, and focus on. And your child needs to do all of that when someone else expects it, in the way they expect it. This can be very hard for a child who needs more time to process information about the world around them or whose brain wants to process things in a different way. Your child might respond by checking out or acting out when it gets to be too much.

At home, children generally have a lot more choice and control. Home might be the place where they can unload their emotions at the end of the day. Or it might be the place where they can relax and pay attention because they are most comfortable. Its common that children dont act the same way at home and at school.

So your childs teacher really might see different behavior in the classroom. The teacher can be a key teammate as you work to find out if your child has a learning disability.

What Are The 7 Main Types Of Learning Disabilities

The seven main types of learning disabilities as classified by the Learning Disabilities Association of America and other mental health practitioners are as follows:

  • Dyslexia A language processing disorder that impacts writing, reading, and reading comprehension.
  • Dysgraphia A learning disability characterized by difficulties with writing and other fine motor skills. Handwriting and spelling are often affected.
  • Dyscalculia A learning disability that causes trouble with math at many levels. For example, those with dyscalculia may struggle with understanding key concepts like greater than versus less than.
  • Auditory processing disorder A learning disability that causes difficulty with processing sounds. The brain misinterprets the information received by the ears.
  • Language processing disorder A subset of auditory processing disorder. Individuals with LPD have specific challenges with processing spoken language, and is defined by the Learning Disabilities Association of America as difficulty attaching meaning to sound groupsthat form words, sentences, and stories.
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities The name may indicate the inability to speak, but it actually refers to difficulties in understanding nonverbal behaviors and social cues from others such as body language, facial expression, tone, etc.
  • Understood.org has created a wonderful resource to help us experience these learning disabilities through the eyes of children.

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    Latino English Language Learners

    Demographers in the United States report that there has been a significant increase in immigrant children in the United States over the past two decades. This information is vital because it has been and will continue to affect both students and how educators approach teaching methods. Various teaching strategies are more successful for students that are linguistic or culturally diverse versus traditional methods of teaching used for students whose first language is English. It is then also true that the proper way to diagnose a learning disability in English language learners differs. In the United States, there has been a growing need to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective school psychological services, specifically for those professionals who work with immigrant populations.

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