Learning Disabilities Defined
Are you hearing a lot of hard-to-pronounce, hyphenated words used to describe the difficulties your child may be having in school? Don’t worry: We’ve cut through the jargon to give you these non-technical definitions of the common learning disabilities.     

• Dyslexia is a language-based disability in which an individual has trouble understanding words, sentences or paragraphs.

• Dyscalculia is a mathematical disability in which an individual has a difficult time with math skills, including solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.

• Dysgraphia is a writing disability in which an individual has difficulty forming letters or writing within a defined space.

• Auditory- and visual-processing disabilities are sensory disabilities in which an individual has difficulty understanding despite normal hearing and vision.

• Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD/ADHD) may co-occur with learning disabilities. Features can include marked over-activity, distractibility, and/or an impulsiveness that can interfere with an individual’s ability to benefit from instruction.

Adapted from “Learning Disabilities,” published by the Schwab Foundation for Learning.

Learn More

  • Dealing with Learning Differences:New Tools and Approaches Help Kids and Families Succeed

  • Common Warning Signs of Learning Disabilities
  • Learning Disability Resources: Web sites, books and organizations

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