LD General Information
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a Learning Disability as
"...a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia."
A Learning Disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to receive, process, store, and respond to information. It is a processing difficulty. LD is identified by a gap between a student’s ability and his academic achievement, that cannot be explained by other factors, like socioeconomic status or another disability. Children with LD have an average or above average IQ. They are just as smart as their peers, but the “wiring” of their brains make it difficult for them to learn. LD affects reading, writing, and math skills, audio and visual processing, speaking, and reasoning. LD affects everyone from the student to classmates, teachers and, of course, parents.
Common Learning Disabilies include:
- Dyslexia – a language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words.
- Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
- Dysgraphia– a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
- Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders– sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
- Nonverbal Learning Disabilities– a neurological disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.
Signs of a Learning Disability
- Trouble learning the alphabet, rhyming words, or connecting letters to their sounds
- Makes many mistakes when reading aloud, and repeats and pauses often
- Does not understand what he or she reads
- Has real trouble with spelling
- Has very messy handwriting or holds a pencil awkwardly
- Struggles to express ideas in writing
- Learns language late and has a limited vocabulary
- Has trouble remembering the sounds that letters make or hearing slight differences between words
- Has trouble understanding jokes, comic strips, and sarcasm
- Has trouble following directions
- Mispronounces words or uses a wrong word that sounds similar
- Confuses math symbols and misread numbers
- Unable to retell a story in order
- Does not know where to begin a task or how to go on from there