Millions of individuals in the United States are identified as having a learning disability. Learning disabilities (LD) are neurological disorders that may significantly affect an individual’s academic performance and social skills. Learning disabilities may be caused by deficits in mental processing (how the brain takes in, interprets, stores, retrieves, uses and links information through the various senses to parts of the brain) areas such as auditory processing, visual processing, visual-motor integration, attention processing, and cognitive areas of expression, association, and conceptualization. In order to determine the presence of a learning disability, the assessment professional will look for a significant difference between the individual’s ability, achievement, and mental processing.
A learning disability is not something that can be diagnosed just by looking at an individual.
Because of this, it can often go undetected. Some indications that an individual may have a learning disability include difficulty with: expressing themselves verbally, expressing themselves in writing, understanding what is said to them, understanding what they read, learning letters and letter sounds, coordination, and self-control.
Individuals may have processing delays, but those delays may not significantly impact their academic achievement. In these cases, it is good to know whether a processing area is a personal weakness. Individualized strategies can be taught and implemented in order to alleviate the effects of any area of personal weakness. Academic delays can be minimized or averted all together just by knowing this information.