What is a learning disability?

 

learning disabilitiesA learning disability is a neurological disorder. People with learning disabilities may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information with working memory.  Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability, dyslexia and/ or ADHD, according to the National Institute of Health. Sixty percent of adults with literacy problems may have undetected learning disabilities and some individuals don’t realize they have learning disabilities until they are adults.

A learning disability is not an indication of a person’s intelligence. Also, learning disabilities are not the same as learning problems due to intellectual and developmental disabilities, or emotional, vision, hearing, or motor skills problems.

A learning disability cannot be cured. However, with early intervention and support in the educational system, it can become manageable and the person can succeed in school and all aspects of life.

Parents, teachers and tutors can help children and adult students with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, building on their gifts and teaching them to self-advocate. Identifying and providing accommodations to the curriculum and integrating the use of assistive technology are important components of a path towards success in the educational system.

Learning Disability Online Resources

Here is a link to the National Institute of Health’s website information on Learning Disabilities

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. It affects as many as 1 in 5 students. As many as eighty percent of students with learning disabilities will have reading problems.

These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Other symptoms include difficulties in language skills, writing, and pronouncing words. There is significant difficulty in identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds, especially in vowels.
Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives however, with appropriate teaching methods, dyslexics can learn successfully.

Dyslexia Online Resources

Click here to view two videos that describe dyslexia and how it affects learning and success:

http://thisisumbrella.com/?p=752

Click here to the National Institute of Health’s website information on Dyslexia

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

what is ADHDAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. Some people with ADHD only have problems with one of the behaviors, while others have both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Most children have the combined type of ADHD.

It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity and impulsivity, but for people with ADHD, these behaviors:

  • Are more severe
  • Occur more often
  • Interfere with or reduce the quality of how they function socially, at school, or in a job
  • Interfere with or reduce the quality of their performance and work

ADHD Online Resources

Click here to view a video that describes ADHD and how it affects learning and success

Click here to view the National Institute of Health’s website information on ADHD

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