What are Learning Difficulties?
The general term learning difficulty covers a wide range of difficulties. It is not uncommon to hear many people using the term “dyslexia” to refer to any kind of learning difficulty. However, it is now generally accepted that dyslexia is dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that mainly affects the skills involved in the reading and spelling of words. Of course, dyslexia can manifest itself as a difficulty with:
- phonological awareness: the ability to identify how words are made up of smaller
units of sound,
- phonological decoding: the process of relating a word’s written representation to its
- orthographic coding: the ability to both store in memory and retrieve from memory
letters and word patterns,
- auditory short-term memory: the ability to remember auditory information over a
brief period of time, or
- verbal processing speed naming: the time it takes to process and recognise familiar
verbal information, such as letters and digits.
- ability to acquire arithmetical skills: dyslexics may have a difficulty performing
mathematical calculations (also known as dyscalculia).
Possible symptoms of dyslexia
- Difficulties with reading
- Difficulties with spelling
- Poor sequencing skills
- Poor short-term memory
- Lack of phonological awareness – ability to break down words and recognise separate units of sound
- Confusion with left and right
- Problems with reading comprehension
- Difficulties with mathematics
- Difficulties with musical notation
- Poor handwriting
- Difficulties expressing thoughts orally
- Poor organisational skills
- Is there someone else in the family with similar difficulties?
There are also other learning difficulties which include:
- Dyspraxia: a developmental coordination disorder, which is thought to be caused by
an immaturity in neurone development in the brain.
- Attention deficit disorder (add), also known as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (adhd): children who cannot concentrate; move around constantly; have poor school performance (relative to their intelligence) and have disruptive behaviour might be considered as having this condition.
- Non-verbal learning disabilities: refer to difficulties related to problem-solving which does not directly involve the use of verbal skills (spoken language).
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) Autism: refers to a complex developmental behavioural, learning and communication difficulties, whose symptoms generally start before age three and can cause delays or problems in several different skills that develop from infancy to adulthood.
See how we support individuals with learning and/or communication difficulties in “what we do” page. We also support gifted children by working with schools accommodate them in a special way so that they can perform to their full potential.