What is a learning disability?
Interestingly, there is no clear and widely accepted definition of learning disabilities.
Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the field there is an ongoing debate on the issue of definition and there are at present at least 12 definitions that appear in professional literature.
These disparate definitions do agree on certain factors:
lThe learning disabled have difficulties with academic achievement and progress.
Discrepancies exist between their potential for learning and what they actually learn.
lThe learning disabled show an uneven pattern of development: language development, physical development, academic development and-or perceptual development.
lLearning problems are not due to environmental disadvantage.
lLearning problems are not due to mental retardation or emotional disturbance.
Another question: what causes learning disabilities? Little is at present known about the causes of learning disabilities but some general observations can be made:
lSome children develop and mature at a slower rate than others in the same age group, resulting in an inability to do the expected school work. This kind of learning disability is called maturational lag.
lSome children with normal vision and hearing might misinterpret everyday sights and sounds because of some unexplained disorder of the nervous system.
lInjuries before birth or in early childhood probably account for some later learning problems.
lChildren born prematurely and children who had medical problems soon after birth sometimes have learning disabilities.
lLearning disabilities tend to run in families, so some learning disabilities might be inherited.
lLearning disabilities are more common in boys, possibly because boys tend to mature more slowly.
lSome learning disabilities appear to be linked to the irregular spelling, pronunciation and structure of languages. - Child Development Info