Learning Disorders

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Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.
Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.
Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disabilities:
  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or colouring within the lines
  • Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes

Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms:
  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences
  • Slow to learn new skills

Ages 10 to 13 signs and symptoms:
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a single document
  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

Common Types of Learning Disabilities:
  • Dyslexia – Difficulty reading – Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking
  • Dyscalculia – Difficulty with math – Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money
  • Dysgraphia – Difficulty with writing – Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas
  • Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder) – Difficulty with fine motor skills – Problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity
  • Dysphasia/Aphasia – Difficulty with language – Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension
  • Auditory Processing Disorder – Difficulty hearing differences between sounds – Problems with reading, comprehension, language
  • Visual Processing Disorder – Difficulty interpreting visual information – Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures