Types Of Learning Disabilities


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Different types of learning disabilities are connected to brain dysfunctions that influence some of the basic skills. The most fundamental skill may perhaps be the sensory-perceptual ability, which is a person’s capacity to absorb and process information coming through one’s senses.

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Different types of learning disabilities that involve a person’s vision and hearing and touch has an adverse impact on learning. Learning is considered to be a mental pursuit rather than a physical one, but it requires motor skills, and can be affected by problems with motor development. Similarly, language abilities, attention and memory are some basic skills that are fundamental to the learning process.

Academic skills such as the three most common skills of reading, writing and arithmetic are adversely affected by different types of learning disabilities.

Problems with reading

Some studies have suggested that out of children diagnosed with different types of learning disabilities, 60-80% find reading as the only or chief problem area they have.

Learning disabilities that affect a child’s reading have been traditionally known as dyslexia, but the term that is currently preferred is developmental reading disorder. Problems that have been associated with reading disorder include difficulty in identifying letters, problems relating letters to sounds, errors with letter position and reversals, confused spelling, trouble understanding syllables and recognizing words, hesitant or slow oral reading, word by word reading instead of contextual reading.

Problems with writing

Learning disabilities that affect a child’s writing is known as dysgraphia, which includes problems with forming letters, writing layout, omissions and repetitions, capitalization and punctuation errors, many types of spelling problems and “mirror writing.” Children affected with dysgraphia struggle with written work and take longer than other children in the class and produce uneven, large writing which would be expected from a younger child.

Problems with math

Learning disabilities that affect a child’s math skills are known as dyscalcula or dyscalculia, which take longer to become apparent compared to reading and writing difficulties, often around eight years of age. Children affected by dyscalcula may have difficulty with counting, writing and reading numbers, grasping basic math concepts, learning to calculate and measurements. This kind of disability may also affect nonverbal learning such as spatial organization.

Current estimates suggest that 5-20% of school children in the US (most of them boys) suffer from different types of learning disabilities. Quite often, learning disabilities are accompanied by other disorders like ADHD or attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. It is thought that these disorders are the result of the brain’s irregular functioning in certain parts. There is evidence to suggest that such irregularities may often be inherited (i.e. a child is likely to have a learning disability if a family member had them).

Underachievement apart, other signs that a child may be suffering from a learning disability are forgetfulness, lack of organization, taking very long stretches of time to complete assignments.

Other types of learning disabilities may show themselves in the classroom, where the teacher may observe that a child finds it difficult to pay attention, is unusually disorganized or sloppy, finds it difficult to work independently, is socially withdrawn and has trouble switching activities.

Types of Learning Disabilities