Examples of Specific Learning Disabilities

Disabilities in reading and math are common

Teacher helping student use computer
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Specific learning disabilities are a group of disabilities outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This federal legislation defines specific learning disabilities as a group of disorders in a number of different areas.

The term "learning disability" is often used interchangeably with the term "learning disorder." Both terms refer to the same sorts of problems. Better your understanding of learning disabilities and their characteristics with this review.

Examples of Learning Disabilities

An individual can have one learning disability or multiple learning disabilities. Early detection and intervention is key to prevent a learning disability from derailing a student in class. The following learning disabilities commonly affect students.

Learning disabilities may include several types of disorders. Dyslexia, for example, is included with learning disabilities in reading under the IDEA.

Dysgraphia is included with learning disabilities in writing, and dyscalculia is included in learning disabilities in math.

Other Kinds of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities may also involve disorders or syndromes such as developmental aphasia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or Tourette's syndrome.

ADHD is arguably among the most well known of these disorders. It can cause children to have trouble focusing, sitting still or to behave in manners that are disruptive.

Like other disorders, ADHD affects children in different ways. Not all children with this disorder may experience learning difficulties as a result.

The Role of Other Disabilities

Specific learning disabilities are not typically diagnosed when other primary disabling conditions such as visual impairments, hearing impairments, motor disabilities, mental retardation or emotional disturbances are present. Further, students whose academic weaknesses are caused by environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage are not typically diagnosed with learning disabilities unless there is evidence the disability is not related to these factors and the child has received appropriate educational intervention.

Moving Forward

If you suspect your child has a learning disability, consult your child's teacher, school administrator, counselor or pediatrician to have the youngster evaluated.

By ordering tests for your child to take and reviewing a portfolio of the child's work, school faculty may be able to determine that a learning disability is present or to rule out the presence of such a disorder.

It's important to remember, however, that all children have strengths and weaknesses. Just because a child is weak in one area does not mean that she has a learning disorder. Moreover, all children develop at different paces. Children may not be as advanced in a certain area as their brothers or sisters were. This does not mean they have a learning disorder.

If a child does indeed have a learning disability, there's still hope. Consultations with the right professionals can help your child manage the disability, so it does not bring his academic progress to a halt. Many people with learning disorders go on to college, earn advanced degrees and become successful adults.

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