Understanding Learning Disabilities


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Understanding learning disabilities require in-depth information about learning disabilities and the causes giving rise to this affliction. Generally learning disability affects the person’s capacity to be taught or communicate with others in any manner. The symptoms are manifested in the way the person speaks, writes, listens, reasons or calculates mathematical sums. Learning disabilities are broadly segregated into three diverse groups -: (a) academic skill disorders (mainly manifested in the manner the affected person reads or writes), (b) speech and language disorder comprising of difficulties with pronunciation, articulation or communicating with other people and (c) deals with problems involving motor skills and memory.

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Normally, learning disabilities are associated with autism, dyslexia and attention inattentiveness. In medical terms learning disability is a syndrome that describes health condition comprising of number of characteristics. It is considered a common factor in syndromes such as Downs, Williams Syndrome, Turner and Fragile X. Estimates reveal that 1.5 million people in U.K. are suffering from learning disability from mild to severe and profound. Persons afflicted with learning disability do not imply that the person lacks intelligence. The factor that is affected is the manner in which the information is processed in the brain and is manifested in sight or sound.

The degree of learning disability varies amongst people. Some individuals may also have physical disabilities that require a lot of care while others lead independent lives. With emotional support learning disability does not prevent the person from attaining similar goals as normal people. There are various factors that attribute to development of learning disability. Generally it is related to brain development before, during or just after birth and in early childhood. However, in many cases the causes are still unknown.

Since learning difficulty lasts life long and is not curable neither can the afflicted person out grow this disease. Learning disability can be managed successfully by equipping the person with proper skill sets and providing them with emotional support that they deserve. But the process can only be initiated when the person’s symptoms are diagnosed.

The symptoms vary depending on individuals and their age group spanning childhood through adolescence. If someone has difficulty in reading, the person is believed to have dyslexia. If the problem centers on focusing on one task, it is termed as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD). But it is not always easy to define the disorder especially when a young person shows a combination of different learning disorders that remain undiagnosed. For proper diagnosis of learning disability a health care professional’s advise is imperative.

When the person with learning disability passes through adolescence, hormonal changes occur. During this phase, increase in workload at school or college brings the symptoms to the surface. The changes might range from marked decline in performance or ongoing problems with friendship due to difficulty in developing social skills. Often frustration seeps in as the person with learning disability realizes that attaining his/her goal becomes a difficult task. The most remarkable learning issues to watch out include:

1. Finding ways to avoid writing or reading.

2. Limited attention span and slow work performance.

3. Poor spelling and literary skills.

4. Misreading or misunderstanding information.

5. Problems dealing with abstract ideas.

6. Difficulty in constructing essays and conceptualizing ideas.

Understanding learning disabilities in terms of social behavior the following symptoms are displayed like:

• Difficulty in negotiating and compromising.

• Easily influenced by peers.

• Having problem embracing other people’s ideas.

• Having problem accepting criticism.


Types of Learning Disabilities