Types of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities is a general term used for the many learning disabilities currently identified. Learning disabilities fall into three major categories.

1. academic skills disorders: difficulty with the three ‘R’s; reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic
2. developmental speech and language disorders: difficulty communicating with spoken language, understanding what others say or making the actual speech sounds required to communicate
3. ‘other’: a catch all term for other learning disabilities

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the most common types of learning disabilities within these three categories.

Academic Skills Disorder
The academic skills disorder category is learning disorders that affect reading, writing and arithmetic. Here’s a look at the specific learning disorders:

1. Dyslexia
Dyslexia, also known as developmental reading disorder, affects 2 to 8% of school-age kids. Experts find that a dyslexic child has trouble distinguishing the sounds of spoken words and producing these sounds themselves. The trouble lies in the identification of speech sounds. As your child matures, dyslexia will begin to affect how your child’s comprehension of written materials, as the brain needs to be able to form new images of words in order to relate them to information already stored.

2. Dysgraphia
Dysgraphia, or developmental writing disorder, affects a child’s ability to write. Because writing involves grammar, vocabulary, memory and the hand movements to write letters, any of these skills can be difficult for a dysgraphic child.

3. Dyscalculia
Otherwise known as developmental arithmetic disorder, dyscalculia is difficulty with abstract mathematical concepts, recognizing the numbers and arithmetic symbols and memorizing math facts. If your child has difficulties with these, look into dyscalculia testing at your school.

Other Learning Disabilities
Many learning disabilities fall into this category. Possible learning disabilities include motor skill disabilities, auditory processing learning disabilities, hyperlexia, nonverbal learning disabilities, memory disabilities and language acquisition disorders.

Take Action
Speak with your child’s school about developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that will work to benefit your child’s learning disabilities.

You also need to take action at home. Having a child with a learning disability can at times place a strain on the household. There are several skills you can learn as a parent that will help your child overcome the social obstacles associated with learning disabilities as well as their academic success. You may also want to chat with other parents who are going through the same situation for both advice and support.

Developmental Speech and Language Disorders
Language processing disorders are the most common sort of language disabilities. There are several learning disabilities that fall into the developmental speech and language disorders category. Here’s a look at speech and language disorders in young children.

1. Developmental Expressive Language Disorder
Some children have trouble expressing themselves through language. For example, if your preschool child can’t answer simple questions with direct answers, she may have expressive language disorders.

2. Developmental Articulation Disorder
An articulation disorder is when a child is exhibits developmental delays in controlling the rate of their speech or articulating words. This language processing disorder is quite common, affecting approximately 10% of children. Developmental articulation learning disabilities is actually frequently grown out of as your child ages. If you’re still worried about this learning disability, speech therapy is quite successful with treating developmental articulation disorder.

3. Developmental Receptive Language Disorder
Having developmental receptive language disorder is generally having difficulty processing certain aspects of language.