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Learning Disabilities

What Is a Learning DisabilityAre These Learning Disabilities, Too?

You may hear other terms used to refer to problems with reading, writing, or doing math. These terms are similar to, but not quite the same as, “learning disability.” To a specialist who works in this field or a special education teacher, each of these terms has its own precise meaning and characteristics.

Here are a few of these terms and their meanings:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder ( ADD ). A student has difficulty paying attention and focusing on a task.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ). A student has difficulty paying attention and staying focused and is overly active; a student with ADHD often does not think of the results of his or her actions before acting.
  • Dyslexia. A student has severe problems with reading and writing. This term may include word blindness, in which a student cannot read words although she is able to tell the difference between individual letters. It also may include dysgraphia, in which a student has severe problems with handwriting, and dyscalculia, in which a student has severe problems with math.
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorders ( NLD ). A student has excellent skills with language, but poor skills in the areas of motor, space, organization, and perception; he or she often has poor social skills, as well.

There are many more such terms. Because ADD and ADHD are so often associated with LD and may even be confused with LD, let's talk about them.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaLearning DisabilitiesLearning Disabilities - What Is a Learning Disability - Trouble With Schoolwork, Learning Disability Doesn't Mean Lazy, A New Term For An Old Problem