What is a Learning Disability?
Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect cognitive processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering and/or learning. These may include language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; as well as planning and decision-making functions (Learning Disabilities of Canada’s link).
Approximately 15% of the overall population are living with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorders. However, how these disorders manifest themselves is as unique as the persons who have them. Children who have LD may exhibit some of the following signs.
- Difficulty seeing the difference in size, shape and color
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Reversals in reading and writing
- Skipping or substituting words when reading
- Squints or complains of headaches and tiredness while reading or writing
- Awkward pencil grip
- Clumsiness and prone to accidents
- Difficulty making the connection between letters and sounds
- Poor visual-motor coordination
- Poor organization and planning skills
- Difficulty with instructions
- Disorganized thinking patterns
- Poor short term or long term memory
- Difficulty expressing themselves verbally or in print/writing
- Relies on memorization rather than understanding
- Lags in developmental mile stones (speech, motor coordination)
Please remember that one or more of these signs can be seen in children at some stage and/or age, but this can be typical of development and should not be considered a sign of a learning disability.