Learning Disabilities UnfoldWhat do Graham Bell, Churchill and Walt Disney have in common? They all have learning disabilities. However, hey, look at them now! They are all written in the pages of our history. Just by hearing the word disabilities sparks an idea that something may not be right for that certain person and that could somewhat scare us. Let us not be afraid for a learning disability is not a disease; it does not even have anything to do with intelligence. In fact, there are many successful people out there with Learning Disability (LD).
Learning Disabilities Unfold
LD is sometimes called Learning Disorder or Learning Difficulty. It is a disorder that affects the brain’s capacity to receive, process, store, and analyze information. This can give a child a difficulty to learn skills quickly as in comparison to someone without LD. However, this does not indicate the intelligence level of a person. Mostly, persons with LD have more than one kind of disorders in them. Some of the skills that a child with LD has trouble learning with are: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and solving math problems. Although a person with LD may not have the same disorder with other persons that have LD. One may have a trouble in reading and the other in solving math problems. Research shows that about 8 to 10 percent of American children with age below 18 have some kind of learning disorder. Research also says that learning abilities are most likely due to the differences on how the brain works and how it processes the information. Children with LD are not dumb. In fact, some of them may have an average or above average intelligence. They just learn in different and unconventional ways.
Generally, psychologist categorized learning disabilities into two:
Deficit in processing information
These are deficit in the information processing in learning.
- Input – difficulties in the reception of information through senses like the audio and visual perceptions.
- Integration – difficulties in the interpretation of the received information.
- Storage – difficulties in memory; as in short term memory loss.
- Output – difficulties very eminent in the actions, spoken language, or relaying of correct information.
Specific Learning disorders
These are deficits that are mostly a manifestation of the deficit in information processing.
- Reading disorder – it is the most common learning disability to almost 70% - 80% of students. Popular term for this is dyslexia.
- Writing disorder – sometimes called as dysgraphia. This includes impairment in handwriting, spelling, and composition.
- Math disability – disorders in learning math concepts (numbers, figures, and problems). This is sometimes called as dyscalculia.
- Dyspraxia – difficulties in motor skills like tooth brushing, hair combing, or waving goodbye.
- Auditory processing disorder – difficulty hearing differences between sounds.
Symptoms and Signs of Learning Disabilities
LD can be detected in the early years of child development. Parents should be aware of signs to provide the necessary steps to help their child in his learning capacity.
There is no other way to detect the signs and symptoms of LD but to observe their children in their development. Parents know their children better than anyone else. So if they notice something odd in the learning ability of their child, then they'd better consult their pediatricians. Having a development milestone chart is also very helpful.
Causes of Learning Disabilities
There are really no known causes for LD but researchers have theories:
- Hereditary – researchers noticed that learning abilities have something to do with the genetic influence in them; but this is still under debate.
- Brain's development – experts think that learning abilities might be caused depending on the child’s brain development during before and after birth.
- Environmental influence – sometimes exposure to environmental hazards might have altered a child’s learning abilities through brain damage and health problems.
The most common treatment of LD is through special education. With this, specially-trained educators can assist and correct the child’s disabilities and thereby helping him cope up with them.
Currently, researchers are finding ways to a better cure and treatment for learning disabilities.
There is really no cure for a learning disability. One cannot even outgrow it. However, it is always not too late to get help. It is just a matter of maximizing what one have. After all, geniuses are not made, they are born.
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