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Specific Learning Disabilities

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Specific learning disabilities hinder a child’s ability to read, write and solve or understand math. So, it is mainly a neurological disorder. This disability might develop early in childhood but might go unrecognised till later ages.

What causes it?

Following factors contribute to the onset of specific learning disabilities-

  • Heredity

  • Illness during or post birth

  • Comorbidities

  • Excessive exposure to toxic substances

  • Certain medications for cancer and leukaemia

How is it detected?

Learning disabilities may lead to lack of enthusiasm for reading/writing, inability to pay attention to detail, problems in memorising things, trouble in understanding concepts despite assistance provided and so on. The characteristics like dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyscalculia are prevalent in most of the people with this disability.

How can it be treated?

The most common way sought is that of counselling and therapy. These disorders cannot be completely cured, only their severity can be reduced. Techniques such as pictorial depiction of the problems or use of mnemonic devices can be applied to ease the learning for such persons. One might consider visiting a developmental psychologist or a speech and language therapist for further guidance.

Preventions and precautions:

  • Do not indulge in activities which might hinder your brain development.

  • Do not spend a lot of time around toxins such as paints and certain chemicals.

  • Sleep and physical exercises are a must to prevent this disability.


Explaining learning disabilities to children

Giving children accurate information is necessary to clear misconceptions and help them treat others with kindness and respect. This is a simplified summary that can be used with children.

Some children are born with a brain that works differently. These differences can affect a child’s ability to learn skills such as reading, writing and/or math. Teachers can identify if a child has a learning disability. This can be a reading difficulty called dyslexia, a writing difficulty called dysgraphia, or a math difficulty called dyscalculia. Children who are born with a learning disability are just like you. They can learn, play, go to school and are good at many things. However, they may need some support from special teachers to learn reading, writing and/or math.

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