When learning disorders impact on a person's ability to function, they may be referred to as Learning Disabilities. Learning disabilities include disorders that impair functions such as reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia) and mathematical calculation (dyscalculia). They vary widely within each category in the patterns they exhibit.
Having a learning disability can have serious effects, some of which are -
- Achievement Levels: The level of academic achievement revealed by written tests does not correspond to perceived or expected ability.
- Organising difficulties: Students may go off at a tangent in conversation and/or in writing and seem personally disorganised.
- Auditory processing: Some students may experience difficulty in integrating information presented orally.
- Reading difficulties: Reading may be slow and deliberate and comprehension may be impaired for students with a learning disability.
- Writing and note taking difficulties: Legibility, writing speed and spelling may be severely hampered under the pressure of time constraints.
The marked discrepancy between intellectual capacity, and achievement and output (expressing information and responding) is what characterises a learning disability. Learning disability often goes undiagnosed. Neuropsychological assessment can determine the presence and subtype of Learning Disorder, which can inform prognosis and treatment possibilities.