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Learning Disabilities

Definition and Support


Learning disabilities take on many different forms and is lifelong. Students with learning disabilities will have problems in math, language, processing of information or areas of difficulty in other academic areas. All students bring with them their own learning strengths, weaknesses and needs. The potential to learn is influenced by a variety of factors including: physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional, social etc. It is extremely important to focus on a student's strengths and preferred learning style. Students that have learning disabilities usually have average or above average cognitive skills but will require additional teaching strategies, modifications or accommodations to their learning program.

There are a variety of definitions for learning disabilities, you'll want to check with your state, province, or country for the specific definition. However, a learning disability usually means the student may have deficits in one or more of the following: receptive language which includes listening and reading; deficits in the processing of language which includes thinking, understanding, comprehending, and integrating concepts; deficits in writing, speaking or spelling which is expressive language or a deficit in mathematical computations which is often referred to as discalcula.

Students with learning disabilities usually demonstrate needs in a variety of areas such as: performing consistently, following and understanding directions, reading, comprehending, writing, organizing and sequencing thoughts, retaining information, following more than 1 step instructions or directions, interacting with peers appropriately and often struggle with self-esteem and confidence.

Here's a comprehensive list of characteristics of learning disabled students by their specific category:

Visual Perceptual

Auditory Perceptual

Body and Spatial Relationships

Conceptual Deficits

Memory Deficits

Behavior Deficits

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