What is a Learning Disability?
The Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC) defines learning disabilities as “a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.”
The LDAC adds that “learning disabilities are lifelong.” Eaton Arrowsmith disagrees with this statement. After three to four years of cognitive exercises and hard work, students can strengthen the cognitive weaknesses that cause their disabilities.
Read through the below learning difficulties that EA helps children address to see if our schools are right for your son or daughter.
Types of Learning Disabilities
Motor Symbol Sequencing
Messy handwriting, miscopying, misreading, irregular spelling, speech rambling, careless written errors in mathematics, and poor written performance.
Difficulty with reading comprehension, trouble with mathematical reasoning, trouble with logical reasoning, difficulty reading an analog clock, problem understanding cause and effect, reversals of ‘b’ – ‘d’; ‘p’ – ‘q’ (younger students and in more severe cases).
Memory for Information or Instructions
Trouble remembering oral instructions, difficulty following lectures or extended conversations, problem acquiring general information through listening.
Problem putting information into one’s own words, speaking in incomplete sentences, difficulty using internal speech to work out consequences, trouble following long sentences, breakdown of steps in mathematical procedures.
Broca’s Speech Pronunciation
Mispronouncing words, avoiding using words because of uncertainty of pronunciation, limited ability to learn and use phonics, difficulty learning foreign languages, difficulty thinking and talking at the same time, flat and monotone speech with lack of rhythm and intonation.
Auditory Speech Discrimination
Mishearing words and thus misinterpreting information, difficulty understanding someone with an accent, extra effort required to listen to speech.
Problem being self-directed and self-organized in learning, limited mental initiative, difficulty keeping attention relevantly oriented to the demands of a task necessary for completion, difficulty thinking, planning, problem solving, trouble seeing the main point.
Poor word recognition, slow reading, difficulty with spelling, trouble remembering symbol patterns such as mathematical or chemical equations.
Problem with associative memory, trouble following auditory information, trouble learning names of things such as animals, places, people, colours, days of the week.
Awkward body movements, bumping into objects due to not knowing where body is in space relative to objects, uneven handwriting with variable pressure.
Lack of a clear articulation of speech, some speech slurring.
Problem interpreting non-verbal information such as body language, facial expression and voice tone, weak social skills, difficulty perceiving and interpreting one’s own emotions, difficulty thinking, planning, problem solving non-verbally.
Narrow Visual Span
Slow, jerky reading with errors, eyes fatigue when reading, problem navigating in the dark.”
Trouble finding objects, problem remembering visual cues such as landmarks, difficulty remembering faces and recalling the visual details of pictures.
Frequently getting lost, losing objects, messy and disorganized workspace, trouble constructing geometric figures.
Difficulty understanding the mechanical properties of objects, problems constructing or repairing machinery such as taking apart and putting together a bicycle or repairing a car.
Trouble understanding the proper sequence of steps in a task such as sewing, cooking or computer programming.
Poor muscle tone, which results in some degree of awkwardness and slowness of body movement.
Finger counting, trouble retaining numbers in one’s head, difficulty making change, problem learning math facts, poor sense of time management, difficulty with time signature in music.