What are learning difficulties?

Learning disabilities are conditions characterised by severe difficulties in acquiring and applying listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, and mathematics. A learning difficulty, sometimes known as a learning disability, is an impairment in the brain's ability to process information. Individuals with learning disabilities may not learn in the same way or at the same rate as their peers. Because learning disabiliti es cannot be healed, their consequences can have a long-term impact on an individual's performance in life and quality of life.

Types of learning difficulties

Clinical psycholog ists  deal with an array of learning disabilities which include:

  • Dyslexia: Dyslexia is a learning disability that involves significant difficulties with accuracy or fluency of reading. It is known as a language processing disorder.
  • Dysgraphia: Dysgraphia is a condition in which people have difficulty putting their thoughts into writing or drawing. Poor handwriting is a distinctive feature of dysgraphia, but is not the only symptom.
  • Dyscalculia: Dyscalculia refers to a group of learning disorders that affect mathematical calculations. Dyscalculia is often referred to as "math dyslexia", and individuals might have difficulty counting money, reading clocks to tell time, identifying patterns, remembering math facts and solving math mentally.
  • Auditory processing disorder  (APD): Patients with APD have trouble processing sounds. A person with this challenge may have trouble differentiating sounds, for example, struggling to differentiate someone's voice versus background noise.
  • Language processing disorder : Language processing disorder is a subgroup of auditory processing disorder that occurs when an individual has unique difficulties processing spoken language, thus affecting receptive and expressive language.
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities  (NVLD): NVLD refers to problems decoding nonverbal behaviours or social cues. An individual struggle to understand facial expressions, body language and tone of voice and all the nuances associated with nonverbal communication.
  • Visual perceptual/visual motor deficit: Individuals with visual perceptual/visual motor deficits have poor hand-eye coordination, lose their position frequently when reading, and struggle with pencils, crayons, scissors, glue and other fine motor skills.

How are learning difficulties treated?

Occupational therapy can help children with motor skills issues. At the same time, educational therapists work with school-aged students to enhance their reading, writing and math skills. Speech therapists work with children who have language or reading comprehension problems and can help them understand and communicate better in social contexts. Solution-focused therapy may be ideal for older children and teens aware of their problems, as a solution-focused therapist will assist them in integrating their limitations and their strengths. At the same time, the individual can confront a problem and be assisted in figuring out what is working and what could be improved. Psychotherapy might aid children and adults alike to deal with emotional issues related to their specific learning difficulties. There are various treatment options for learning difficulties, and the treatment plan must take care to meet the individual needs of the person with the learning difficulty.

1What is the difference between learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities?
An intellectual disability is defined as having a lower-than-average IQ and a lack of daily life skills. This disability was previously known as "mental retardation." A learning disability is a condition in which a person's academic abilities are impaired. The most prevalent learning disabilities relate to reading, writing and math.