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Learning Disability Module


Impact of Learning Disabilities on Social and Personal Interactions

LD affects not only academic functioning, but it also can affect vocational areas, social relationships, and family dynamics (Skinner, 2004). Social information processing is considered one of the most challenging domains for some students with LD as it requires that the individual draw on cognitive skills (e.g., attention, memory, reasoning, focusing, and processing information) that may be impaired (Bauminger & Kimhi-Kind, 2008). This may result in social-emotional difficulties, including limited emotion recognition skills, poor social skills and emotion understanding, and peer rejection. One component of social skills that some students with LD may lack is social perception (Florida Tech Net, ND). For example, an individual may be unaware of personal space or misperceive social situations. At the college level, this may manifest itself through frequent interruptions of classmates or professors during class discussions, or an inappropriate reaction to sensitive topics. Other students with LD may experience issues with establishing social relationships. Some social problems may relate to spoken language disorders; however, the majority of social relationship issues stem from an individual’s lack of understanding on how to act and what to say to people in specific social settings (Bauminger & Kimhi-Kind, 2008). In the postsecondary environment, students with LD may struggle with group projects, as well as communicating ideas relating to or demonstrating understanding of course content during class discussions. It is important to note, however, that not all students with LD have difficulty with such social skills or in establishing and maintaining relationships.



Bauminger, N., & Kimhi-Kind, I. (2008). Social information processing, security of attachment, and emotion regulation in children with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 315-332.

Florida Tech Net (n.d.). Florida bridges to practice - web-based training component. Retrieved from http://www.floridatechnet.org/inservice/bridges/tables.PDF

Skinner, M. (2004). College students with learning disabilities speak out: what it takes to be successful in postsecondary education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 17(2), 91-104.


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.