What you should know about LDs

  • Learning Disabilities (LDs) are specific neurological disorders that affect the brain's ability to store, process, retrieve or communicate information. They are invisible and lifelong.
  • LDs can affect different aspects of learning and functioning - see the chart below for specific types of learning disabilities and related disorders.
  • LDs can be compensated for through alternate ways of learning, accommodations and modifications.
  • LDs can occur with other disorders (AD/HD, etc) and may run in families
  • LDs are NOT the same as intellectual disabilities, autism, deafness, blindness, behavioral disorders or laziness.
  • LDs are NOT the result of economic disadvantage, environmental factors or cultural differences.


LD Terminology

Type of LDs

Area of Difficulty

Symptoms include trouble with:



Processing language

Reading, writing, and spelling

Letters and words may be written or pronounced inaccurately


Math skills and concepts

Computation, remembering math facts, concepts of time, money, grasping math concepts, etc

Difficulty learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s


Written expression

Handwriting, spelling, expressing ideas on paper

Illegible handwriting, difficulty organizing ideas, getting thoughts on paper


Fine motor skills

Coordination, manual dexterity

Trouble with scissors, buttons, drawing, writing


Information Processing Disorders

Auditory Processing Disorder

Interpreting auditory information

Language Development, reading

Difficulty anticipating how a speaker will end a sentence.

Visual Processing Disorder

Interpreting visual information

Reading, writing and math

Difficulty distinguishing letters like “h” and “n”


Other Related Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Concentration and focus

Over-activity, distractibility and/or impulsivity

Can’t sit still, loses interest quickly, is easily distracted, may daydream


Other Resources