Learning Support Center

Scientists have discussed several factors that lead to the emergence of learning disabilities including:

1 – Defects in fetal brain development
2 – Genetic defects /Genetic Factors
3 – Effects of smoking, alcohol and certain types of drugs
4 – Problems during pregnancy and childbirth
5 – Pollution and environmental problems

Definition of Learning Difficulties/Disabilities

A learning disability is a neurological disorder. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person’s brain is “wired.” Children with learning disabilities are as smart as or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by them or if taught in conventional ways.

A learning disability can’t be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.

Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.

National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities Definition of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span. Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception, and social interaction may exist with learning disabilities but do not by themselves constitute a learning disability. Although learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (for example, sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance), or with extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction), they are not the result of those conditions or influences.

A slow learner is a child of below average intelligence, whose thinking skills have developed significantly more slowly than the norm for his/her age. This child will go through the same basic developmental stages as other children, but will do so at a significantly slower rate. However, this development, while being slower, nevertheless be relatively even.

On the other hand, a child with specific learning disability is one of average or above average intelligence who has specific difficulties which can make learning very difficult. There may be deficits in any of the basic central nervous system functions, which have to do with the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities i.e. attention, memory, language, auditory and visual perception, motor coordination and planning, spatial orientation, impulse control and sequencing. In short, if there is a discrepancy between the children’s potential and actual achievement.

Types of Learning Difficulties

Dyslexia

A specific learning disability that affects reading fluency, decoding, reading comprehension, recall, writing, spelling, and sometimes speech and can exist along with other related disorders.

Language Processing Disorder (LPD) relates only to the processing of language. LPD can affect expressive language and/or receptive language. 

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia 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.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit A disorder that affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.

Non-Verbal Learning Typically, an individual with NLD (or NVLD) has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language, and may have poor coordination.

Dysgraphia

A specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills

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