Learning disability is a term that refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and communicate information. Individuals with learning disabilities may not have any physical or sensory impairment such as poor eyesight, blindness or difficulty hearing, and may be of average or above-average intelligence, but they may still find acquiring knowledge and functioning normally with peers to be a challenge. There is no apparent cause for learning disabilities, but some believe it may be hereditary, caused by problems during pregnancy, or occur after birth such from exposure to toxins, head injuries or lack of nutrients.
Learning disabilities can drastically affect someone’s ability to perform at work or school, which can be detrimental for someone developing basic academic or professional skills. About 5 percent of children in public schools have some form of learning disability, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Learning disabilities can occur with other disorders such as ADHD or information processing disorders, but they should not be confused with laziness, mental retardation, autism, deafness or other similar conditions.
Some Common Learning Disabilities Include:
Specific learning disabilities affect different areas, show up with varying symptoms and range in severity.
- Reading Disorder (Dyslexia)
- Disorder of Written Expression
- Mathematics Disorder
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder
A gap in achievement or progress in comparison to peers or co-workers and apparent difficulties with learning can also signal a possible learning disability.
In different aged children, some behavioral signs can hint at the possibility of a learning disability. Often children may show signs of disruptiveness because they may not be able to focus or pay attention to an assignment, or may be trying to get out of trying because they find it too difficult.
Signs of learning disabilities in school
- Frustration with schoolwork
- Refusing to do homework
- Complaints about the work being too hard
- Calling themselves stupid
- Not wanting to show a parent an assignment
- Trying to delay doing an assignment
Some students may try to cover up the poor work and act like things are great, or others may decide school isn’t worth trying for and that can show up in adolescence when they may start cutting class or acting out in other ways.
Adults with learning disabilities
It’s never too late to discover a learning disability in someone’s life. Finding out might provide an explanation for past difficulties in school, but it can also allow someone to get some support and services to help them with any current difficulty. Though as adults, it’s likely that they’ve learned ways to cope and work around their learning disabilities to lead well-functioning lives.
Solutions and Treatments for Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities, once diagnosed by a professional, can be compensated for through different styles of learning and studying. Once identified, we can provide assistance to helping people develop learning strategies that work for them. Then, students can also get help through school resources and trained teachers who have an understanding of how to help students with learning disabilities despite difficulties through modifications or accommodations as needed by the severity of the disability.
To learn more or get in contact with us at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, please call Dr. Drutman at 770.910.9135.