What is a Learning Disability?
Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. (Source: LDAC)
People with a disability can struggle with the following:
- Spoken language
Common Types of Learning Disabilities
Overall, Learning Disability is a blanket term that covers many disorders, including the most common types:
Dyslexia – Difficulty reading (Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking)
Dyscalculia – Difficulty with math (Problems doing math, understanding time, using money)
Dysgraphia – Difficulty with writing (Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas)
Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder) – Difficulty with fine motor skills (Problems with hand-eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity)
Dysphasia/Aphasia – Difficulty with language (Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension)
Auditory Processing Disorder – Difficulty hearing differences between sounds (Problems with reading, comprehension, language)
Visual Processing Disorder – Difficulty interpreting visual information (Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures)
- 19% of students with LD drop out of high school
- 68% of students graduated from high school receiving a regular diploma while 12% received a certificate
- Employment Status:
- 46% employed
- 7.9% unemployed
- 46% not in labour force
(Source: Nation Centre for Learning Disabilities)
Common Questions Asked:
- What caused this disability?
- How might it have been prevented?
- What is it like to have a Learning disability?
- What can be done now?
- How will this disability change my (our) life?
- Will this disability change my interaction with my child?
- Can he/she learn anything?
- Does this mean my child will not graduate from high school?
- Will he/she be able to take care of himself?
- What kind of job will he/she be able to get and keep?
- Each individual with a learning disability is unique. No two experiences are the same.
- Many people do not fully understand what learning disabilities are and those who learn
differently frequently bear the stigma of being thought of as “slow,” lazy, or “weird.”
- Many people who have a Learning Disability are very intelligent and even gifted.
With the right help they can excel.
- All conditions are not created equal – Learning Disabilities can range in its severity and how
it affects people.
- Learning disabilities may co-exist with various conditions including attentional, behavioural
and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.
You Are Not Alone:
Having a Learning Disability can feel quite isolating, but it is helpful to source out examples of people with similar struggles who empowered themselves and excelled.
Here are just a few famous achievers who strived for more than their current circumstance:
- Famous inventor, Albert Einstein
- Heavy weight champion boxer, Muhammad Ali
- Actor, Tom Cruise
- Former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill
- Actor & Comedian, Vince Vaughn
- Entrepreneur, Richard Branson
- Late night talk show host, Jay Leno
- Comedian, Host & Actress, Whoopi Goldberg