A specific learning disability is a hidden disability.  Learning disabilities are individualized.  Keeping this in mind, a brief description of problems a student with a learning disability may have to deal with follows.  No student exhibits all, and each student has varying degrees within these categories.

Dyslexia:  Reads slowly.  Student experiences decoding errors, especially with order of letters.  Difficulties in handwriting, spelling, and may have math computational problems.

Dyscalculia:  Displays difficulty recognizing patterns when adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.  Will have problems using steps in math operations and difficulties in sequencing information or events.  Difficulties in understanding fractions and putting language to math processes.

Dysgraphia:  May have illegible handwriting in printing and/or cursive as well as inconsistencies in writing.  Has difficulty with thinking and writing at the same time.

Dysphasia:  Difficulties gaining meaning from spoken language.  Exhibits poor reading comprehension.  Can be often frustrated by feeling as if words are on tip of tongue, but can't quite get it to come out. 

Figure-ground perception:  Difficulties in picking out an object from a background of competing objects.

Visual discrimination:  Unable to discern the difference in objects.

Spatial perception:  Difficulties seeing things in the right order.

Auditory figure-ground perception:  Problems in hearing one sound against a background of noises.

Auditory sequencing:  Difficulties in hearing sound in the correct order and in one's sense of balance.

Apraxia:  Problems in functioning in motor planning or knowing where you are in space.

Tactile reflex:  Problems with sense of touch.

Accommodation Examples

  • Record lectures, volunteer note-taker, or instructor notes.
  • Reader for test
  • Scribe for test
  • Out-of-class testing
  • Extended time for testing
  • Test enlargement