Learning Disabilities- Hidden disabilities
A learning disability is the reduced intellectual ability and difficulty in performing everyday activities, for example, household chores, socializing, handling money. People who have learning disabilities tend to take longer to learn and we need to develop new skills, understanding of complex information and interacting with other people.
A learning disability affects learning, understanding and communication. A learning disability does not stop someone achieving a lot in life and being healthy if they get the right support, that is, with the right support people with disabilities can enjoy employment opportunities like everyone else.
A learning disability can be mild, severe or profound. It is not an illness or disease that can be cured. Learning disabilities are caused by the way a brain develops before or during or shortly after child birth, illness that damages the babies brain and spinal cord, premature birth etc.
Learning disability v/s Mental health
Learning disabilities by definition are disorders and basic psychological processes that involve understanding and using language, i.e., the ability to receive, process, recall and communicate.
Types of learning disabilities:
A learning disability in reading is often referred to as Dyslexia and it is not only the difficulty in reading words, it is also the ability to understand what you are reading, speed and the accuracy with which you read etc.
Specific learning disability in writing is often referred to as dysgraphia. Dysgraphia could mean different things to different people at different stages of life. It is not just how they hold a pencil or how they write but it is also how they organize themselves and plan their writing. So, it could be anything that falls within the writing domain.
Specific learning disability in learning math is often referred to as Dyscalculia. Disability in learning math involves not just one thing, it could involve the fluidity and flexibility of how it is that a person operates within the counting and number domain. It could be measurement, estimating distance, counting and making money, understanding patterns and rules working with numbers.
Learning disabilities are not the result of poor vision or poor hearing. They are also not the same as children who have difficulties on the autistic spectrum. They are not the same as intellectual disabilities, the term we use formally is mental retardation. They are not consistent with or the same as or interchangeable with emotional disturbance or mental health issues. Learning disabilities are not the result of poverty i.e., cultural environment or economic disadvantage are not the cause of learning disabilities.