LD Defined

A Learning Disability (LD) is a neurologically-based, hereditary condition that affects a person’s ability to learn in “typical” ways. Children and adults with LD have challenges understanding and using language and their ability to receive, process, recall and communicate information is affected. They typically have above average intelligence an all they need to succeed is an understanding of their learning style and the tools and confidence to overcome their challenges.

Common Characteristics

Learning disabilities are life-long. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual’s lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual’s strengths and needs.

Difficulty with processing information that is presented either in a visual or auditory manner.

Difficulty with processing language and information presented verbally. These can include problems with listening, speaking, vocabulary, and in other areas of language.

Problems with spelling, handwriting, and/or written composition.

Difficulty in understanding or thinking in quantities, problems understanding time and/or space concepts, and recalling and/or using number facts.

Hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, short attention span (see the definition for Attention Deficit Disorders).

Lack of organizational skills, inactive learning style, and a lack of self-awareness about how one learns.

Poor fine and/or gross motor coordination, general awkwardness and clumsiness, spatial problems.

LD Indicators

Many children, adolescents or adults experience one or more of the above signs in the normal course of their development. Only when a number of these characteristics are present might there be an indication of a learning disability. Only a professional evaluation can determine the presence of a learning disability.

  • Trouble with nursing, sucking or digesting
  • Resistance to cuddling and body contact
  • Lack of, or excessive response to sounds or other stimulus
  • Delays in sitting, standing, walking
  • Little or no vocalization
  • Irritability
  • Delayed language and immature speech patterns
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Cannot skip, has trouble bouncing and catching a ball
  • Impulsive, cannot control behaviour
  • Fearless
  • Does not respond to discipline
  • Poor and laborious handwriting and/or bizarre spelling mistakes
  • Disorganized; books in a mess, notes out of order, loses things
  • Poor social skills, few friends, or socializes with a younger group
  • Lacks insights into his own future, his strengths and weaknesses
  • Tendency to be very literal, rigid, humourless, and/or gullible
  • Vulnerable to peer pressure, often the “scapegoat” in situations
  • Excellent verbal ability, but cannot express thoughts on paper
  • Mechanical aptitude, but difficulty with reading, writing or spelling
  • Lacks social skills and has difficulty maintaining relationships or making friends
  • Learns well when shown, but cannot follow written and/or verbal instructions
  • Feels constantly anxious, tense, depressed and has a very poor self-concept
  • Cannot organize belongings, time, activities or responsibilities