Specific Learning Disabilities

Learning difficulties encompasses disorders in listening, speaking, reading, writing and mathematics. Students with LD have unique learning profiles, meaning that they struggle in some areas of skill development and perform well (or excel) in others. By definition, having a learning disability means that an individual’s struggle with learning is not due to limited intellectual capacity and that there are no social, emotional, environmental or sensory (physical and medical) obstacles preventing them from achieving their learning potential.


As with other learning disabilities, dyslexia is a lifelong challenge. This language-based processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness or the result of impaired hearing or vision. Children and adults with dyslexia have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently.


Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math. There is no single type of math disability. Dyscalculia can vary from person to person. And, it can affect people differently at different stages of life.


Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. People with dyspraxia have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks. This can vary from simple motor tasks such as waving goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing teeth. It is not a learning disability but often coexists with other learning difficulties and conditions that impact learning.


What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and what does it have to do with learning disabilities? About one-third of people with learning difficulties have ADHD.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development. There are three types of ADHD – predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive and a combination of hyperactivity and inattentivity.