List of Learning Disabilities

You may have heard of this condition and you may have even encountered someone suffering from it, but do you know what all it entails?
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Learning disabilities, or the inability of the human brain to function to its normal acceptable extent is a condition that does not necessarily portray the patient to be an invalid, as is so often perceived by one and all. This condition can range from being a mild one to something to worry about. I have tried to compile a list of learning disabilities that you might find helpful to refer to. These conditions are apparent in both children and adults, hence, we will try to segregate the disabilities according to those of a child and those of an adult.

Different Learning Disabilities in Children
Most disabilities are born with the child, and if not treated tend to progress with age. So let's look at some of the most commonly known types of learning disabilities.

Dyslexia: This condition encompasses a wide range of problems, right from the inability to mug things up by heart, to having problems understanding and picking up language. Dyslexia is primarily a neurological disorder that affects the child's ability to:
  • Comprehend language
  • Solve simple math problems and creates confusion with numbers
  • Distinguish between right and left
  • Understand what he or she is asked to do
  • State the English alphabet in order, thus mixing up alphabets and reversing the order of numbers
  • Organize and plan, thus displaying a relatively poor sense of coordination
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD): This disorder pertains to the psychological result of an attempt at learning and reasoning a particular concept or a study, through auditory modes of learning. That is, that branch of learning which involves the sense of hearing, such as following spoken commands or directions, or understanding an instruction that is made vocal to the child. Needless to say, the child will thus require conversation to be slower and louder to help him or her understand it better. It might also be indicative of a poor ability to memorize as the instructions often need to be repeated, sometimes not out of misunderstanding the instruction, but of not being able to memorize the same. This problem can sometimes, but rarely, also be considered to be a physical one, due to the presence of fluid in the middle ear which distorts the signals sent by the outer ear and into the auditory nerve.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): This too is a common among the learning disabilities in children. Also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, children suffering from this condition have trouble, as the name suggests, maintaining concentration on one particular topic for a prolonged period of time. This disability was at first looked upon by people to be a fault on the child's part in terms of slacking and woolgathering. However, later studies revealed that this indeed was a psychological condition that did require treatment, failing which, would deteriorate the child's ability to effectively lose out in the long run. This condition is characterized by the following:
  • Inability to concentrate on one subject for not so long a time
  • Becoming restless and fidgety after a while
  • Becoming easily distracted by external stimuli
  • Inability to complete a task or project in a given span of time
  • Impatience and getting frustrated, tendency of becoming violent because of frustration
  • Carelessness in terms of misplacing essential objects or articles, forgetfulness to a small degree
This problem becomes apparent when the child is under stress, such as that of homework or project deadlines. According to experts, when the child starts displaying these characteristics, the school authorities should first be contacted and a thorough assessment should be conducted in the fields that the child is having a problem with, thereafter, it's the parent's choice to either enroll the child into the school's special program, considering the school has one, or seek professional help with the full report submitted by the school authorities as regards the child's areas that require help.

Visual Processing Disorder: Visual processing is all about us taking in information through our eyes and then re-organizing it in our minds. Hence, while learning, one of the primary senses that a child uses to his or her advantage, is sight. This disorder affects the child's ability to perceive correctly the depth, size, or the distance of an object. Here's how it affects a child's performance:
  • Unable to distinguish between two objects kept some distance apart
  • Colors, shapes, and sizes are a problem for e.g. a child will find it difficult to distinguish an obvious pattern in a collage of pictures and symbols
  • Mathematics is a subject that cannot be studied without understanding the symbols, this is where a child will fall back at as well
Dyscalculia: This disability is specifically concerned with numbers and solving math equations which makes it a math learning disability. Such as it may seem, this problem however, is not limited to math as it has a huge bearing on a child's everyday life. Mathematics helps a person develop his or her brain in a manner that involves logic, organizing, rearranging and problem solving, which is seen as part and parcel of everyday life. So ignoring the problem will result in the child paying a heavy sum (literally and metaphorically). Children with this condition, have difficulty in:
  • Map reading
  • Following directions
  • They are unable to gauge the passage of time
  • They face difficulty in keeping score cards in simple games where points need to be calculated
Dysgraphia: This disability is concerned with the child's ability to form words or sentences on a piece of paper, i.e. writing. The child is unable to pen down letters and words in a proper order, resulting in the sentences and words appearing distorted and meaningless. This condition should also be placed under the learning disabilities, as it says a lot of the child's mental capacity to recognize order and method. The fact that the writing appears haywire is indicative of the child's confusion. Dysgraphia though apparent only in the child's writing speaks of a lot more than just that. This difficulty in placing words and letters in order can also affect the child's daily activities when it comes to order and method.

Dyspraxia: This condition is referred to the inability to perform good motor skills which involves movement and coordination. Dyspraxia in itself does not mean that a person's intelligence is in question, however, it does contribute to the brain not being able to transmit and receive signals to body parts, which in a way makes it a learning disability. This is because the neurons aren't able to transport impulses completely, hence the brain may process the information incorrectly. Basic motor skills, inability to plan and organize, and not being able to follow reasoning or logic are indications of this disorder.

Note: It has to be borne in mind that this list is not what encompasses the entire problem. A child suffering from learning problems may or may not have any of the conditions as aforementioned. Hence, it would be unwise to state that this is all what the syndrome is all about or create a list of specific learning disabilities, because it is just not so.

In many cases, there are symptoms of learning disabilities that often go un-noticed or aren't paid much attention to, because it does not pose that great a risk to the child's overall well-being. It is very easy to provide a solution and label a certain condition by placing a name against it, however, the human mind as it is, is complex enough to keep us continuously baffled and keep on researching. There are a myriad other conditions and this list can go on and on. The learning difficulties found in adults are mostly behavioral problems, brought about through trauma to the brain or through external factors.