Learning disorders are typically referred to as impairments of the psychological processes, which are involved in learning. It is believed to influence the way a person learns how to read, do math, write or any other learning process. People do not even realize that there are a variety of potential learning disorders a person could be living with.
According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, there are three most common learning disorders and they are as follows:
- Dyslexia: this is a learning disorder, which involves difficulties with reading words accurately
- Dysgraphia: this is a condition, which involves difficulties with expressing themselves in writing. People that experience this condition, might be sitting for hours trying to get through writing a few sentences. In addition to that, their writing might be extremely difficult to read because of their poor spelling
- Dyscalculia: people who experience this condition encounter problems with understanding numbers, being able to reason through problems and memorizing simple arithmetic facts
Recent studies show that the most common learning disability is dyslexia. It accounts for between 80 to 90 percent of all learning disabilities. Research also shows that approximately 20 percent of the population experience dyslexia. Searching for a qualified specialist who can manage these disorders is as important as searching for a pain specialist when you experience any kind of pain.
In medical terms, dyslexia is a learning disorder that normally affects the ability to spell, read, write and speak. Specialists state that children that have this disorder are often hardworking and smart but they have difficulties connecting the letters they see to the sounds those letters make.
According to a recent study, approximately 5 to 10 percent of Americans have symptoms of dyslexia. These include trouble spelling, slow reading and mixing up words. This problem can be diagnosed early in life as well as until people get older.
In addition to that, children who experience this learning disorder have normal vision and are just as smart as their peers. However, they struggle in school because it takes them much longer to read. Having difficulties with processing words can make it hard to spell, write and speak clearly.
Doctors say that dyslexia is often linked to genes. That is the main reason for this condition often occurring in families. Thus, you are more likely to get exposed to this problem if any member of your family has it. Furthermore, this condition stems from differences in parts of the brain that process language. When imaging scans in people with this learning disorder are taken, the areas of the brain that should be active when a person reads do not work the way they should.
When children learn to read, they first figure out what sound each letter makes. Then, they have to determine what words mean. The brain of kids with dyslexia has difficulties with connecting letters to the sounds they make and then blending those sounds into words. Therefore, people with dyslexia might read the word cat as tac. Because of the aforementioned, reading can be extremely slow and difficult to process.
People might experience dyslexia in different ways. Some people might have a mild form that can be eventually managed. Other people might have a hard time overcoming it. It should be also said that even if kids cannot fully outgrow this learning disorder, they can still go to school and succeed in life.
The key focus of elementary school years is learning to write words and sentences clearly and correctly. All kids have some degree of difficulty with writing. However, if a kid’s handwriting is consistently unclear or distorted, it can be caused by disability, which is called dysgraphia. This is a problem with a nervous system that affects fine motor skills, which are required for writing. As a result of this disorder, kids have extremely hard times accomplishing handwriting assignments and tasks.
Specialists are still not sure why this health disorder occurs in children. However, when it comes to adults, it is normally related to a brain injury. Children experience this health disorder along with other learning disabilities such as dyslexia and ADHD, which stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Children with dysgraphia have irregular, unclear and/or inconsistent handwriting, often with different lower-case letters, cursive and print styles. The first symptoms of this disorder are normally noticed at school when he/she first begins writing assignments. Other symptoms of dysgraphia include:
- Difficulties with spacing things out on paper or within margins
- Frequent erasing
- Inconsistency in letter and word spacing
- Poor spelling, which includes unfinished words
- Unusual wrist, paper or body position while writing
Specialists also emphasize on the fact that dysgraphia can also make it hard to think and write simultaneously. Especially difficult are creative writing assignments.
If your kid has problems with solving math tasks but does well in other subjects he/she could be experiencing a learning disorder, which is called dyscalculia. Doctors say that it is a brain-related issue, which makes basic arithmetic difficult to learn. It might be the case that it may run in families but scientists have not found any genes related to it.
According to a recent study, approximately 7 percent of elementary school students have dyscalculia. Furthermore, research shows that this learning disorder is as common as dyslexia, which is a reading disorder. Some people even call dyscalculia math dyslexia. However, doctors say that dyscalculia is a completely different condition. A more appropriate synonym for dyscalculia is mathematics learning disability, which can be closely associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It was also determined that approximately 60 percent of people who experience ADHD also have a learning disorder.
Children with this type of learning disorder might lose track during counting. To make it clear, they might be still counting on their fingers while their peers have stopped doing that long time ago. People with dyscalculia might find it extremely difficult to know at a glance how many things are in a group, which is a skill called subitizing. It helps to see a 5 and a 3 after your roll the dice without really counting. People who experience this learning disorder might have a lot of anxiety about numbers. For instance, kids might have panic at the thought of math homework. Other symptoms of dyscalculia are:
- Finding it difficult to estimate things, like how long something takes
- Finding it difficult to understand math word problems
- Finding it difficult to learn basic math, like multiplication or subtraction
- Finding it difficult to link numbers to its corresponding words
- Finding it difficult to understand graphs and charts
- Finding it difficult to understand fractions
- Finding it difficult to count money and make change
- Finding it difficult to remember zip codes or remember phone number
- Finding it difficult to read clocks and tell time
Taking all the aforementioned into consideration, it can be said that any number or math-related activity is extremely difficult for people with dyscalculia. For instance, a kid with this learning disorder might get upset with activities that require constant scorekeeping or counting.
As was mentioned above, all the aforestated learning disorders can make a regular life extremely challenging. Therefore, finding a board-certified specialist in this field is as important as finding the right pain doctor when you experience any kind of pain.