Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) are usually disorders of the central nervous system that interfere with one or more basic learning functions.

Collecting Information: Judging depth, distance or size incorrectly, or not being able to match clues from different senses. Storing & Retrieving Information: Poor memory in certain areas, difficulty remembering sequences of sounds, or matching sounds with letters. Sorting Information: Difficulty organising, perceiving small details or class similar objects together. Confuses sizes. Expressing Information: Difficulty translating what he/she knows into speech, writing or physical activity

Some learning disabilities are mild (they will probably overcome them with minimal assistance) while others are relatively severe (they will need extensive specialised help). Most learning disabilities are discovered when school problems occur, when a child isn’t able to participate in class activities or complete schoolwork consistently.

Common learning disabilities affect…

Speaking/ Listening: Difficulty controlling speech muscles and producing sounds accurately. Difficulty perceiving sounds in order and repeating them correctly. Reading/ Spelling: Words and letters are confused and may be reversed. Difficulty building words from letters or translating letters into sounds. Writing. Difficulty copying visual images. They may be able to tell shapes apart but can’t draw them. Numbers. Difficulty understanding and using number concepts. They may reverse the order of figures or fail to understand the order involved in counting. Other problems. Short attention span, low self-esteem and motivation, behavioural problems. Without specialised help, several disabilities may overlap and make school work impossible.

Learning disabilities – an all too common problem.

Estimates vary, but in various forms, they may affect up to 10% of all school children.

  • Most have average, nearly average, or above-average intelligence.
  • Most have no noticeable physical handicaps.

Untreated, learning disabilities can

  • prevent a child from mastering the basics
  • damage a child’s self-image and self-confidence, with lifelong effects

A better understanding of the problem can lead to earlier detection and help for the child.