A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence, often the individual's IQ falls within the normal range. The source of the difficulty is in the brain. Children and adults with a learning disorder have trouble processing sensory information which interferes in their daily activities at school and work. They see, hear and understand things differently. If left untreated, the challenges a learning disability creates can severely affect a child's school experience and self-esteem. However, treatment is available and can be successful even if the disability is identified in late childhood or adulthood. Scientists are currently studying the brain's potential for change which may hold the answer to innovative treatments for learning disabilities and may one day reduce the need for prescription medications.
What is a learning disability?
"He has the ability, if he just tried harder, he could do it. He chooses not to do the work."
"If she would just pay attention, she would get it."
"After I give the instructions, he sits there and stares at his paper. He is not motivated."
These are common statements made about children with learning disabilities.
A child with a learning disability cannot try harder, pay closer attention, or improve motivation on their own; they need help to learn how to do those things. A learning disability is caused by a problem in the nervous system that affects how information is received, processed or communicated. There are a variety of disorders that affect the way verbal and non-verbal information is acquired, understood, organized, remembered and expressed.
Types of learning disabilities
There are a variety of skills impacted by learning disabilities. They cover the gamut from language and reasoning to calculation and motor skills. Learning disorders cause havoc in a child’s life on a daily basis. If left untreated, the frustration and difficulties caused by the learning problems, both at home and in school, creates stress and hardship resulting in the child feeling bad about themselves.
Here is a list of the different types of learning disabilities frequently identified:
- Reading Disorder
- Disorder of Written Expression
- Mathematics Disorder
Problems with Motor Skills
- Developmental Coordination Disorder
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder
- Phonological Disorder
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