Learning disability is a term that refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and communicate information. Individuals with learning disabilities may not have any physical or sensory impairment such as poor eyesight, blindness or difficulty hearing, and may be of average or above-average intelligence, but they may still find acquiring knowledge and functioning normally with peers to be a challenge. There is no apparent cause for learning disabilities, but some believe it may be hereditary, caused by problems during pregnancy, or occur after birth such from exposure to toxins, head injuries or lack of nutrients.
Learning disabilities can drastically affect someone’s ability to perform at work or school, which can be detrimental for someone developing basic academic or professional skills. About 5 percent of children in public schools have some form of learning disability, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Learning disabilities can occur with other disorders such as ADHD or information processing disorders, but they should not be confused with laziness, mental retardation, autism, deafness or other similar conditions.
Specific learning disabilities affect different areas, show up with varying symptoms and range in severity.
- Reading Disorder (Dyslexia)
- Disorder of Written Expression
- Mathematics Disorder
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder
A gap in achievement or progress in comparison to peers or co-workers and apparent difficulties with learning can also signal a possible learning disability.
In different aged children, some behavioral signs can hint at the possibility of a learning disability. Often children may show signs of disruptiveness because they may not be able to focus or pay attention to an assignment, or may be trying to get out of trying because they find it too difficult.
Signals of learning disabilities in school
- Frustration with schoolwork
- Refusing to do homework
- Complaints about the work being too hard
- Calling themselves stupid
- Not wanting to show a parent an assignment
- Trying to delay doing an assignment