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Learning disabilities affect about 15 percent of the population, and can have a profound impact on individuals and families. People with learning disabilities are just as smart (and sometimes smarter) than their peers, but have difficulty learning in conventional school settings. Understand more about learning disabilities, discover how to overcome obstacles, and learn how to uncover hidden aptitudes and gifts.

There are 38 articles in this section.

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"Learning Disabilities" Movement Turns 50

Fifty years ago, the learning disabilities (LD) advocacy movement began. This article by Landmark College education professor Dr. Jim Baucom explores the history of the movement and future directions. The article originally appeared on the Washington Post web site on April 12th, 2013.

Dyslexia and the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association, includes codes for all mental health disorders currently recognized. Small changes in the DSM can have a major impact on how conditions are understood and treated. Revisions to the 5th edition, to be released in May, 2013, include changes to the name and types of learning disabilities that are identified within the document. Between now and June 15, 2012, the DSM-5 Development team welcomes comments and questions on these changes.

Loneliness, Self-Efficacy, and Hope: Often Neglected Dimensions of the LD Learning Process

Students with learning disabilities often feel lonely and socially isolated in school. Learn more about how families can help their children build resilience, self-esteem, motivation, and family relationships.

Language-Based Learning Disability: What to Know

Language-based learning disabilities (LBLD) encompass a spectrum of cognitive and behavioral differences in processing, comprehending, and using language. Students with LBLD commonly experience difficulties with listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, math, organization, attention, memory, social skills, perseverance, and self-regulation. However, a teaching style that is specialized and structured enables students with LBLD to succeed. Learn the essential facts about how to foster the strengths of students with LBLD in this article.

Understanding the Different Types of LD: A Blog Post by John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.

John Wills Lloyd, who has been at the University of Virginia's Curry School since 1978, began his career teaching children with learning and behavior problems in southern California in the 1960s. He completed Ph.D. studies at the University of Oregon in 1976. His research focuses on improving students' outcomes. Below John writes about subtyping LD. You can follow all of John's posts at LD Blog.

Q&A: I Have Dyslexia. What Does That Mean?

Shelley Ball-Dannenberg discusses her new children's book about what it’s like to have a reading disability.

Writing Disabilities: An Overview

Learn from an expert why some kids with learning disabilities struggle with writing and how some instructional approaches can help.

State of Learning Disabilities 2009

This comprehensive new report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities provides benchmark data on the number of people in the U.S. with LD and how they are faring in schools, universities, and workplaces.

The Positive Side of Learning Disabilities and ADHD

LD OnLine is sharing the positive side of learning disabilities. Learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, and other challenges can often present possibilities for personal growth and achievement.

Learning Disabilities: An Overview

Learning disabilities (LD) come in several forms. Learn more about them, how they're identified, and what types of instruction support students with LD.

How Do You Know If Your Child Might Have a Learning Disability?

If you think your child might have a learning disability, this article will help. Dr. Larry Silver tells parents the clues to look for in pre-school and elementary school children. Then the article talks about how to get a "psychoeducational evaluation" to find out for sure.

Timeline of Learning Disabilities

The learning disabilities gives a brief history of learning disabilities — from 1877 when the term "word blindness" was invented to 2005 when a gene was discovered that is connected with dyslexia.

Dyspraxia

Learn about dyspraxia, a term that refers to a disorder in motor skill development. Dyspraxia affects both fine motor skills — such as writing — and gross motor skills— such as throwing a ball.

What Are Central Auditory Processing Problems in Children?

If your child or student is a "poor" listener, frequently misunderstands speech, and has difficulty following directions, read this article. Learn symptoms of Central Auditory Processing Disorder, how it is diagnosed, and what can be done about it.

Understanding Sensory Integration

Sensory integration is a theory that explains why children respond in a certain way to touch, sounds, and other senses. Some children have sensory integration dysfunction, which influences their behavior. Learn about this disorder and how to treat it.

Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

Children with auditory processing disorder (APD) often do not recognized the subtle differences between sounds in words because a dysfunction makes it difficult for the brain to interpret the information. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders presents basic information on symptoms, diagnosis, and current research of APD.

ABCs of ADHD

The behaviors of a child with ADHD can be hard to understand sometimes — especially if a child is seen only once or twice a week in a group after-school activity. Do you recognize Billy? His behaviors are often seen in children with ADHD.

Motivation: The Key to Academic Success

Motivation is key to school success. Just as the actor asks a director, "What is my motivation, for this scene?," the child turns to teachers, parents, and peers to discover the "why" of learning. Motivation is often defined as a need or drive that energizes behavior toward a goal.

Who Can Diagnose LD and/or ADHD

Many professionals are involved in the diagnosis of LD: psychologists, educational specialists, and other professionals who work in specialized fields such as speech and language. This article identifies licensure requirements and who can diagnose LD and/or ADHD.

What is ADHD? Is It a Type of LD?

Many parents and educational professionals confuse ADHD and LD. Is ADHD a form of LD? No. Each is distinctive neurologically-based disorder. Each is recognized and diagnosed differently. Each is treated in a different way. The treatment for ADHD will not correct an LD. The treatment for LD will not help ADHD. Of importance is that about 30 to 40% of individuals with LD will also have ADHD. Thus, if you find one problem it is important to look for the other.

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