Understanding The Specific Learning Disabilities

Specific Learning Disabilities “Inclusive education seeks to address the learning needs of all children, with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion. The goal is to promote opportunities for all children to participate and be treated equally.”

― Andie Fong Toy

It is needless to say the early diagnosis is important to manage a special need condition successfully. Special education basically involves instructional strategies for the on-going problems of learning key academic skills, including reading, writing, and math. The term “specific learning disability” SLD is commonly used in the special education sector. Therefore, it is important to understand SLD.

What Is Specific Learning Disability (SLD)?

Specific learning disability (SLD) is a neurodevelopmental special need that affects a child’s ability to listen, speak, read, write, or make calculations negatively. As such special needs start at an early age typically, it is easy to identify in their childhood only. Though, there are also some issues that may not be recognized until middle age.

SLD generally refers to a special need in one or more of the elementary developments involved in understanding or using any specific language, spoken or written, think, speak, read, write, spell or perform any mathematical calculations. SLD is mentioned in the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004) as well.

Please note, SLD does not include various learning problems related to physical difficulties (visual, hearing, motor skills), emotional fracas, cultural factors, environmental, or economic drawbacks.

Federal Definition of SLDf

According to the Federal guidelines, criteria adopted by states:

  • Must not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability.
  • Must permit the use of a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention.
  • May permit the use of other alternative research-based procedures for determining whether a child has a learning disability.

What Are The Types Of Specific Learning Disabilities?

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, SLD includes - dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing special need, language processing disorder, nonverbal learning disabilities and visual perceptual special needs.

Symptoms Of Specific Learning Disabilities

Please note, SLD can differ from one child to another. Following are the important symptoms of SLD ---

  • Struggling with spelling and reading
  • Not understanding simple math equations
  • Difficulty in communicating and understanding what another person is trying to say
  • Having trouble pronouncing words
  • Problem in finding the right words
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Failing to follow directions or learning routines
  • Having trouble controlling crayons and pencils
  • Inept to balance syllables to make coherent sounds
  • Slow to learn new skills
  • Finding it difficult to tell time
  • Difficulties in reading, writing, arithmetic or mathematical reasoning
  • Problems with grammar, punctuation or organization while writing
  • Struggle in remembering number facts

With early intervention, proper support, learning disability treatment, one can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, as well as in society.

Wrapping Up

With the updated special teaching techniques that you can acquire from Learning Disabilities course, special educators can help their students immensely. If any of your learners struggles with the above-mentioned symptoms, take note of the specific issues you see. Consider creating an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

If you like what you read about special needs today, share it with others!

Student Reviews


Full of knowledge and useful information, suggestion for lesson plan and ideas for support learning. The knowledge, as mother and "home" teacher was incomplete, after this course I'm feel more comfortable in these topics.

Catherine Streng

Catherine Streng

It was hard work but I learned a lot. Because of this it was well worth it and I am well on my way to succeeding in my goal to become an English teacher in Asia. Instead of being scared as I previously was, I am only a little bit nervous now that I have this experience under my belt.

Joseph Cachia

Joseph Cachia

It was a challenge for me as it been a long time since I had done any academic studying but the course was structured well overall as the course progressed I was relating more to what I was doing at school and implementing them and seeing results I could see my self-confidence growing thru the course.

Melissa Laurin

Melissa Laurin

The course was very informative and I really liked the fact that I could do the Work on my own time. That made less pressure and I could do my best work for the assignments.

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