412-341-1515 info@ldawa.org

New to Learning Disabilities?

Your chances of knowing someone with a learning disability are very good. Did you know… 

  • 2.3 million students are diagnosed with specific learning disabilities (SLD) and receive services under IDEA. This represents 35% of all students receiving special education services.*
  • 75% – 80% of special education students identified as LD have their basic deficits in language and reading***
  • 60% of adults with severe literacy problems have undetected or untreated learning disabilities**

Children with learning disabilities begin school expecting to learn and be successful. If your child is having difficulty in school, she may learn differently from other kids. Parents are often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right.” But sometimes knowing what to do and where to find help can be confusing.

Children grow up to be adults and unfortunately learning disabilities cannot be cured or fixed; it’s a life long issue. And some individuals don’t realize they have learning disabilities until they are adults. With the right support and interventions, however, children and adults with learning disabilities can succeed in school and life.

Recognizing, accepting and understanding your learning disability are the first steps to success.

Defining Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors that alter brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more cognitive processes related to learning. The majority of children K-12 who receive special education are served under the specific learning disability (SLD) category. Approximately 80% of those children have an SLD in reading.

Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and development of one or more of the following:

  • oral language (e.g., listening, speaking, understanding);
  • reading (e.g., phonetic knowledge, decoding, reading fluency, word recognition, and comprehension);
  • written language (e.g., spelling, writing fluency, and written expression); and
  • mathematics (e.g., number sense, computation, math fact fluency, and problem solving).

 Learning disabilities often run in families. They should not be confused with other disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, autism, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities. Because learning disabilities cannot be seen, they often go undetected. Recognizing a learning disability is even more difficult because the severity and characteristics vary.

Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.

Most importantly, if you suspect you or your child has a learning problem, don’t delay in seeking help and taking action!