A learning disability is a disorder that interferes with integrating, acquiring, and/or demonstrating verbal or nonverbal abilities and skills. These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence and are presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction. Frequently, there are some processing or memory deficits. A learning disability is not a result of auditory, visual, or motor impairment, emotional disorder, nontraditional or cultural differences, or the lack of educational opportunities.
Kinds of Learning Disabilities:
- Auditory Figure-ground Perception: inability to hear one sound among others
- Auditory Processing Disorder: do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words
- Auditory Sequencing: inability to hear sounds in the correct order
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder: difficulty processing and remembering language-related tasks
- Dyslexia: language disorder interfering with the spoken or written word
- Dyscalculia: disorder affecting mathematical concepts or computation
- Dysgraphia: writing disorder affecting production of the written word graphically or syntactically
- Dysphasia: disorder affecting word retrieval or fluency when speaking or understanding
- Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder): problems with motor coordination
- Figure-ground Perception: inability to see an object from a background of other objects
- Language Disorders (Aphasia/Dysphasia): trouble understanding spoken language; poor reading comprehension
- Non-Verbal Learning Disorders: trouble with nonverbal cues, e.g., body language; poor coordination, clumsy
- Visual Discrimination: inability to see the differences between objects
- Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit: reverses letters, cannot copy accurately, eyes hurt and itch, loses place, and/or struggles with cutting
Students with learning disabilities may have difficulty with one or more of the following:
- Study Skills
- Inability to organize and budget time
- Difficulty taking notes/outlining material
- Difficulty following directions
- Difficulty completing assignments on time
- Frequent spelling and grammar errors
- Poor penmanship
- Difficulty taking notes while listening to class lectures
- Problems with organization, development of ideas, and transition words
- Slow reading rate
- Inaccurate comprehension
- Poor reaction
- Poor tracking skills (skip words, lose place, and miss lines)
- Difficulty with complex syntax on tests
- Incomplete mastery of phonics
- Computational skill difficulties
- Difficulty with reasoning
- Difficulty with basic math operations (e.g. multiplication tables)
- Number reversals, confusion of symbols
- Difficulty copying problems
- Difficulty with concepts of time and money
- Spatial and time disorientation
- Low frustration level
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty with delaying problem resolution
Accommodations may include:
- Need established routine with step-by-step directions.
- Need repetition or some type of reinforcement of information to be learned.
- Reduced course load.
- Advanced Pre-Registration.
- Course substitution for nonessential course requirements in major.
- Recording lectures.
- Copies of classmate’s notes.
- Extended time on tests.
- Proctoring testing in a quiet, separate area.
- Student responds orally to essay test.
- Alternative type of exam.
- Scribe, word processor, or speech recognition program.
- Test responses read back to the student for clarification.
- Reader, texts on cassette or CD.
- Use of Irlen lenses or colored transparencies (overlays).
- Word processor with spell check.
- Extended time for in-class assignments to correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.