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Types Of Learning Disabilities

Updated on January 19, 2012

Learning disability, or learning disorder, has nothing to do with intelligence. Children and adults both may face problems with learning disabilities. They have trouble processing sensory information to their brain because they see, hear and understand things differently and need special care and help to deal with the obstacles.

The types of learning disabilities are often classified by school skill set or cognitive weakness.  The common types of learning disabilities are following in details.


It involves the understanding and production of the spoken language. Articulation involves problem with verbal communication skill as well as the ability to understand meaning of some words or parts of speech.

There are many articulation disorders particularly among children.

Like substitution, where the individual substitutes one sound for another; for e.g. wow for row.

Distortion occurs when the individual ends up distorting the sound, like “s” or whistling sound comes out of the mouth.

Then there’s omission, in which the individual does not pronounce particular sounds such as “winnow” for window.

In most children cases, parents don’t understand 75percent of what a 3 years old says and child gets frustrated when others do not understand.

They do not make early sounds and are unable to achieve speech milestone.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neuro-development disorder thus affecting one’s learning ability and appropriate interaction with others.

Children with ADHD have problems staying focused, following instructions, paying attention, staying organized and completing school work. ADHD is mostly prevalent in young boys.

Other common indicators include; fidgeting, excessive talking, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, and engaging in risky activities. ADHD affects a child’s ability to function academically, socially and at home.


Dyscalculia or mathematics disorder is referred to define the learning disabilities involving math skills; problems doing math sums, memorization of number ‘facts’, understanding time and using money.

It is not in a single form and difficulties vary from person to person. For instance, a person with language processing disorder will face different challenges in math than a person who has trouble remembering facts and the sequence of steps. Person facing difficulties with visual-spatial relationships will have different set of challenges to overcome.

Person with dyscalculia may have good visual memory of written words or can be good at reading, writing and even in science until a level requiring high math skills is faced. Math problems usually begin in early childhood and continue through teenage and into adulthood.

An example of Dysgraphia. Here the patient's writing get's worsened after some time, by not being able to consistently write in a neat way.
An example of Dysgraphia. Here the patient's writing get's worsened after some time, by not being able to consistently write in a neat way.


The term Dysgraphia is referred to define the learning disability that affects written expression. Individuals with this disorder have difficulty with handwriting, spelling, organizing numbers and words on a line or page; and organizing ideas.


Person with dyslexia has problems reading, writing, spelling and even speaking; no matter how hard he\she tries. People with dyslexia usually have normal vision and can be very intelligent, yet this life-long neurological disorder obstructs the development of oral and written language skills.

Dyslexia is an impairment which causes the brain to process and interpret information, recieved from our eyes, differently. Since so much of our school work is based on reading and writing, it’s important to diagnose dyslexia in early stage and contrive strategies to help a child succeed academically.

Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder)

The term dyspraxia refers to the disorder of motor skill development. It is an impairment of brain where information processed into brain is not fully or properly transmitted to the necessary limbs which results in problems with movement and coordination.

Dyspraxia affects the mind planning about what to do and how. And is more prevalent in males. And like all the other learning disabilities, it is also life-long and can also co-exists with some of them such as dyscalculia, dysgraphia and dyslexia.

It indicates difficulty with single-step task such as waving and multi-step tasks like making bed, brushing teeth, buttoning a shirt or cutting.

Information Processing Disorders

Our body collects information through our five senses and that information is sent to the brain which recognizes, understands, responds and stores the information; operating the same process hundreds or thousand times a day. Information processing disorder occurs when person is unable to effectively use the information that the senses have gathered. It does not occur by impaired vision, hearing loss, an attention deficit disorder or any kind of cognitive weakness.

The eyes and the ears are the primary means of sending information to the brain so visual processing and auditory processing are important for information processing. And if they are not functioning properly, person is likely to have a learning disability.

Auditory processing disorder impact the ability to read, write and spell. And problems in visual perception affect fine and gross motor skills, reading comprehension, and math as well.


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