Learning Disability

Learning Disability

Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math. Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, of intellectual disability,of emotional disturbance, of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages. Children with learning disabilities are as smart 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 themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
     A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community. Children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life. 
     Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as autism, intellectual disability, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”.

Types of Learning Disabilities:
A learning disability is a disorder that inhibits the ability to process and retain information. Because there are numerous mental processes that affect learning, learning disabilities can vary dramatically. Here are five of the most common learning disabilities in classrooms today.
1. Dyslexia.
2. ADHD
3. Dyscalculia.
4. Dysgraphia.
5. Processing Deficits.

1. Dyslexia: A language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as reading disability or reading disorder. Some people struggle with phonemic awareness, which means they fail to recognize the way words break down according to sound. Similar problems can occur with phonological processing, wherein students cannot distinguish between similar word sounds.
     Dyslexia is perhaps the best known learning disability. It is a learning disorder that impedes the student’s ability to read and comprehend a text. There are a variety of ways in which this disability can be manifested. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage or a lack of intelligence. Other issues relate generally to fluency, spelling, comprehension and more.

     Students may experience one reading issue or multiple issues when struggling with dyslexia. Children can become frustrated by the difficulty in learning to read. Become unmotivated and develop a dislike for school and their success may be jeopardized if the problem remains untreated.

Symptoms:
• Slow learning of new vocabulary words
• Difficulty copying from the board or a book.
• Problems recognizing the differences between similar sounds or segmenting words
• A child may not be able to remember content, even if it involves a favorite video or storybook
• Commonly, a child may have difficulty remembering or understanding what he hears.
• Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed
• These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy.
It is important to consult your pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s development.

2. ADHD: ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a medical condition. isn’t a learning Disability. But it can affect learning. Schools know this and have developed different kinds of classroom supports to help children who struggle with attention. “Having one condition makes the other more likely,” says child psychiatrist Richard L. Rubin, MD. A learning disability makes it hard to acquire specific skills such as reading or math. ADHD impacts more global skills like paying attention and controlling impulses ADHD can also cause difficulties learning. ADHD children often can’t focus on subjects long enough and have trouble following directions. Still, ADHD is not considered a learning disability.
     The important thing to keep in mind is that schools have many ways to help struggling students learn more effectively. This is true for kids who have ADHD, learning issues or both. We find that 15 to 30 percent of ADHD kids have a reading disability, which is twice the usual prevalence. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors should work closely together on forming the IEP before school starts and evaluating and updating it as the school year progresses. Fifty percent of those diagnosed with ADHD will have so-called regulatory problems difficulty regulating their emotions.

Symptoms:
• Kids who are inattentive (easily distracted) have trouble focusing their attention.
• Kids with dyscalculia may lose track when counting
• They may have trouble sitting still, or staying quiet when needed.
• Kids who are impulsive act too quickly before thinking
• Kids who are hyperactive are fidgety, restless, and easily bored

3.  Dyscalculia: It’s a brain-related condition that makes basic arithmetic hard to learn. A specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. 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. Your school or doctor may call it a “mathematics learning disability” or a “math disorder.” Any number-based or math-based activity — even outside school — can frustrate kids with dyscalculia.

Symptoms:

• Shows difficulty understanding concepts of place value, and quantity, number lines, positive and negative value, carrying and borrowing.
• Has difficulty understanding concepts related to time such as days, weeks, months, seasons, quarters, etc.
• Exhibits difficulty using steps involved in math operations.
• Is challenged making change and handling money
If you think your child may have dyscalculia after talking with his doctor and teachers, make an appointment to see a learning specialist.

4. Dysgraphia: Dysgraphia refers to a specific set of writing challenges. Problems may include illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time. Trouble expressing yourself in writing isn’t part of dysgraphia. This is a nervous system problem that affects the fine motor skills needed to write. It makes it hard for a child to do handwriting tasks and assignments.
Having dysgraphia doesn’t mean a child isn’t smart. And when kids with dysgraphia struggle with writing, they’re not being lazy. But they do need extra help and support to improve
Symptoms:
• Messy Handwriting
• They may also write very slowly, which can affect how well they can express themselves in writing.
• Kids with dysgraphia have unclear, irregular or inconsistent handwriting.
A Specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills.

5. A Processing defect: APD also known as central auditory processing disorder, isn’t hearing loss or a learning disorder. A specific type of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in which there is difficulty attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories. People of all ages can have APD. It often starts in childhood, but some people develop it later. While an APD affects the interpretation of all sounds coming into the brain, a Language Processing Disorder (LPD) relates only to the processing of language. LPD can affect expressive language and/or receptive language.
Symptoms:
• He may not be able to process what others are saying and come up with a response quickly.
• Difficulty comprehending and following rapid speech
• Difficulty following complex auditory directions or commands
• He may drop the ends of words or mix up similar sounds.

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.

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