Learning Difficulties

Peter Brown

People with Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) have strengths in some areas and unexpected weaknesses in others. For example:

  • they may be coping well in mathematics while having difficulty learning to read, spell and write, or
  • they may be good at oral language and poor in written language
  • They may also have problems with number skills, e.g. times tables

LD is not primarily due to:

  • low intelligence
  • emotional problems
  • vision or hearing difficulties
  • attention difficulties
  • inadequate teaching

Children and adults with specific learning difficulties are often misunderstood and mistakenly seen as lazy, lacking in ability or poorly motivated. Learning difficulties can also be more general and associated with general developmental delays or cognitive impairment.

Early recognition is important so that aappropriate educational assistance may be provided. If the child’s learning difficulty is undetected or ignored during the early years of schooling, the burden of failure and frustration may contribute to secondary problems such as low self-esteem, and emotional and behavioural problems. These make the situation harder for the child, parents and teachers.

Where to start to get help:

  • It will vary, depending on the difficulties.

 

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