Learning Disabilities: An Overview

What Are Learning Disabilities?
A learning disability (LD) is a disorder that affects how people understand and interpret the information they see and hear. It can also affect how that information is linked and retrieved from different areas of the brain.

A learning disability will manifest itself in different ways. Some examples include difficulties with attention and concentration, trouble with written and spoken language and self-control issues.

When you use the term ‘learning disabilities,’ you’re using a general term used to connote the many types of learning disabilities that have been identified. What are the types of learning disabilities?

Types of Learning Disabilities
There are three broad categories that encompass all the specific learning disabilities. These are:

    1. academic skills disorders
    2. developmental speech and language disorders
    3. ‘other’ : a catch all term for other learning disabilities

Causes of Learning Disabilities
Many of the specific learning disorders occur together. Remember also that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a learning disability. Learn about the symptoms, treatment options and what ADHD feels like to your child. The causes of learning disabilities are largely unknown, as it is believed that there are many factors that could possibly lead to learning disabilities.

One theory is that there are subtle brain disturbances that can cause learning disabilities.

Although the causes of learning disabilities are currently not well understood, learning disability experts have come up with many coping strategies and remedial programs that help children with learning disabilities.

Determining if Your Child Has a Learning Disability
Generally, a school will test its students for learning disabilities. If you believe your child has a learning disability, speak with your child’s school about testing.

Treatment and Coping Strategies for Learning Disabilities
Once it has been determined that your child has a learning disability, you can start developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An Individualized Education Plan is a written agreement between the school and parent about what the child needs and what all parties will do to help meet these needs. The educational team that is seeing to your child’s learning disabilities usually draws up the IEP.

There are also great coping skills you can learn as a parent to help alleviate some of the pressure having a child with a leaning disability creates on your child and on your family. You may also want to visit a chat room to talk and gain support from other parents of children with a learning disability.

For more information on how to help your child, visit the many learning disabilities association websites.