It is often a surprise to some people at how large a population the learning disabled community is and how varied it is as well. The cause of most cases of learning disabilities is unknown, though some cases can be related to damage to the brain in utero, and occasionally damage after birth.
Whatever the cause, it results in problems with processing information. The term "learning disabled" is broad, spanning individuals who have difficulties in all areas to those who have problems in only one area. Despite the terminology, which label these individuals as "disabled", many persons with learning disabilities are quite gifted and intelligent.
Generally speaking, testing needs to be done for those persons who have problems with school, their job, or performing everyday tasks to see if there is an underlying learning disability. Specifically, testing will reveal whether the problem exists in understanding information, conveying understood information, or if there are problems in certain subjects only.
Many people have problems with only math or only reading. Each of these problems is unique, though individuals often have multiple problems which leads to some overlap. However, if a certain disability does exist, testing will be able to determine where it is and what can be done to help the individual adapt better. There are most likely more individuals with learning disabilities than is known. Many people fail to seek help due to the stigma associated with having a learning disability.
Fortunately, in recent years this has been less the case, and more is being done to help those with problems achieve their full potential. For those who have problems in the classroom, adjustments can be made to help learning. General assistance is available for those who need it, as well as assistance with certain tasks that may be difficult. This includes having tests read for individuals with dyslexia, as well as offering special testing conditions for those who have attention-deficit disorder.
Outside of the realm of school, therapy exists for individuals to adapt better in their life at home. Things that can be worked on include organization, time management, and physical aids for difficult tasks. In reality, the options are limitless. Creativity can go a long way in coming up with the best solutions, whether it is the individual, family, or a therapist that comes up with the idea. The web can also be a great resource for learning disabled individuals and their families. Specific sites exist for learning disabilities in general as well as for specific disabilities. There is usually plenty of information and advice on these sites for one to read, as well as support groups for those who need an extra helping hand.
- Special Education Dictionary
- ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act
- AMAO – Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
- APD – Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
- CST – Child Study Team
- EHA – Education for All Handicapped Children Act
- FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
- IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- IDEIA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
- IEP – Individual Education Plan
- IHCP – Individualized Health Care Plan
- LD – Learning Disabled
- LDT-C – Learning Disabilities Consultants
- LRE – Least Restrictive Environment
- ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- OHI – Other Health Impairments
- PWN – Prior Written Notice
- RTI – Response to Intervention