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Learning disabilities refer to a number of disorders that may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning.
Learning disabilities range in severity, therefore each individual with a LD is unique and the disability manifests in varying combinations and degrees of difficulty. Often, the individual with a learning disability demonstrates uneven areas of ability and has a gap between his/her potential and actual achievement.
A LD remains with an individual for life; however, many individuals develop compensatory strategies useful in managing their disabilities. With appropriate support and intervention, people with LDs can achieve success in the learning and training environments, at work, and in the community.
A learning disability (LD) is a neurobiological condition that affects the way individuals of average to above average intelligence:
LD can affect one or more stages of information processing that are used in learning which include:
When an individual has a LD that affects part or parts of this process, it has the potential to negatively impact their ability to acquire basic skills of:
Individuals with LD exhibit a wide range of symptoms that can cause difficulties in the areas of:
Hyperactivity, inattention and perceptual coordination also may be associated with LD but are not learning disabilities themselves.
Possible indicators of a learning disability include the following:
When considering symptoms related to LD, remember:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), the Learning Disability Association (LDA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) 2004 present slightly different definitions of SLD:
The table describes some of the more common types of LD: