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 disability, 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:


Dyslexia Processing language Reading, writing, and spelling Letters and words may be written or pronounced inaccurately
Dyscalculia Math skills and concepts Computation, remembering math facts, concepts of time, money, grasping math concepts, etc Difficulty learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s
Dysgraphia Written expression Handwriting, spelling, expressing ideas on paper Illegible handwriting, difficulty organizing ideas, getting thoughts on paper
Dyspraxia 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