Learning Disability

What is a Learning Disability

Learning disabilities (LD) is an umbrella term for a group of related cognitive disorders involving the ability to acquire and use information through listening, speaking, or reading, and the related ability to use information through writing or mathematical reasoning. LD is a life-long disorder in one or more of the central nervous system process related to the input, processing and output of information. *

Generally speaking, a learning disability (LD) is a life-long disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes related to the input, processing and output of information. In most instances an individual with a learning disability has average or above average intelligence. For the adult population with LD, there is no one correct term that defines learning disabilities. There are over 13 major definitions of learning disabilities accepted throughout the United States. Most of these definitions reflect a commonality in that LD is thought to be a processing problem. The lack of a standardized definition or common vocabulary often contributes to misinterpretation of the term "learning disability".

For rehabilitation counseling purposes, the U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) defines a learning disability "as a disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken or written) language or non-verbal means. This disorder manifests itself with a deficit in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory, communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence and emotional maturity."

The term learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. However, a diagnosis of another disability does not preclude the co-existence of LD with that disability. Learning disabilities are life long disabilities that cannot be cured or fixed. Additionally, an individual can develop learning or performance strategies that can decrease the functional limitations of the disability. Because learning disabilities cannot be seen, they often go undetected. Oftentimes, these impact self-esteem, education, vocation, socialization and/or daily living activities.

Source: *http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/current_provider_information/vocational_rehabilitation/policies_procedures/technical_assistance_briefs/learning_disabilities.htm#What_is_a_learning_disabilty

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