LD – Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are a group of disorders typically associated with neurological malfunctions that hinder the acquisition of academic and social skills. Learning disabilities are often detected in childhood, and usually affect individuals with normal intelligence. From receiving information, to processing and storing it, individuals with learning disabilities function in markedly different ways that reflect poor performance and difficulty in learning, especially in an academic setting. The term learning disability encompasses a broad range of learning disorders, making it difficult to pinpoint specific symptoms. However, there are certain warning signs and red flags that enable early detection and could lead to timely intervention and help. While every child learns at a different pace, when a child consistently shows an inability to master certain skills like learning the alphabet, colors, numbers or days of the week, has speech issues with rhyming or using appropriate words, lacks fine motor skills that include holding a pencil or crayon or tying shoes, or trouble with following directions, it is time to get help. It is rare for a learning disorder to go undetected into the adult years, as children with learning disorders often display a certain amount of social ineptitude. Learning disabilities are often grouped in relation to academic skills that include math, reading and writing. The most commonly known learning disabilities are dyslexia (disability in reading), dyscalculia (difficulty in math) and dysgraphia (difficulty in writing). ADHD and Autism, though often confused as learning disabilities, are a separate set of treatable disorders that make learning difficult and sometimes coexist with one or more learning disabilities. Many children with learning disabilities continue to thrive in an academic setting because of groundbreaking research and studies that have enabled specialists to find new ways to teach children with these disabilities. Although the challenges posed by learning disabilities can
be overcome to some extent with the right intervention and instruction once diagnosed, a learning disability is likely to last through the lifetime of an individual, and can only be managed through constant intervention and strategies that enable success and achievement.