Learning Disability Module
- Learning Objectives
- Historical Perspective
- Definition of Learning Disabilities
- Types of Learning Disabilities
- Trends and Prevalence
- Success in College and Learning Challenges
- Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities
- Impact of Learning Disabilities on Social and Personal Interactions
- Perceptions and Myths
- Additional Resources
Types of Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities represent a diagnosable neurological condition, and the manifestations of the characteristics of LD will vary across individuals. The most prevalent type of learning disability is dyslexia (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2009). Frequently occurring learning disabilities include:
- Dyslexia: a reading disorder, which includes difficulty with decoding (sounding out words), word recognition, reading fluency (automaticity or speed of reading), and reading comprehension (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NINDS, 2010);
- Dyscalculia: a math disorder, which involves challenges in computation/calculation, problem solving, and application (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2007);
- Dysgraphia: a written language disorder, which includes difficulty with receptive and expressive language, writing mechanics (grammar, punctuation), and spelling (NINDS, 2009);
- Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders: specific disorders in which a person with normal hearing and vision has difficulty understanding and using verbal or written language (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2009); and
- Non-verbal LD: specific disorders that cause problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative, and holistic processing functions (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2009).
Research conducted by Gregg et al. (2005) concluded that adults with LD appear to utilize different cognitive and linguistic processes to perform similar tasks in comparison to their non-LD peers. This research demonstrated that LD impacts processing speed, cognitive efficiency, working memory, fluency, phonological processing, as well as nonverbal and verbal reasoning (Gregg et al., 2005).
Gregg, N., Hoy, C., Flaherty, D. A., Norris, P., Coleman, C., Davis, M., & Jordan, M. (2005). Documenting decoding and spelling accommodations for postsecondary students demonstrating dyslexia – It’s more than processing speed. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 3, 1-17.
National Center for Learning Disabilities. (2007). Dyscalculia. Retrieved from: http://www.ldonline.org/article/Dyscalculia
National Center for Learning Disabilities. (2009). The state of learning disabilities. Retrieved from: http://www.ncld.org/images/stories/OnCapitolHill/PolicyRelatedPublicatio...
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (NINDS) (2009). NINDS dysgraphia information page. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dysgraphia/dysgraphia.htm
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) (2010). NINDS dyslexia information page. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dyslexia/dyslexia.htm
Permission is granted to copy this document for educational purposes; however, please acknowledge your source using the following citation:
UDI Online Project. (2011). Learning Disabilities (LD) Module. Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability, University of Connecticut, Storrs. http://udi.uconn.edu/index.php?q=content/learning-disability-module.