Learning Disorders

“Learning disorder” is a large categorical umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. Typically, learning disorders deal with information-processing problems that prevent a person from learning and mastering content and skills that they need for the future. This problem can manifest as a gap in expected academic performance. What a learning disorder is not is an issue with motivation or intelligence. Some common learning disorders affect skills in reading, written expression, math, and spelling. Certain observable signs of learning disorders are age specific, but some typical signs are:

  • Difficulty reading (e.g., slow, inaccurate, effortful) and/or understanding the meaning of what is read
  • An inability to blend sounds to make words or read unfamiliar words
  • Difficulty with spelling or written expression (e.g., weaker spelling or poor punctuation, grammar, or organization)
  • Reversing letters, numbers, or words at a developmentally inappropriate age (typically after 2nd-3rd grade)
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts out loud or converting thoughts to writing
  • Trouble following class lectures and discussions
  • Difficulties with organization and time management
  • Difficulty remembering instructions
  • Not understanding the concept of time
  • Difficulty differentiating right from left
  • Lacking coordination when completing tasks or moving

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