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Specific Learning Disabilities

from: Forsgrens

There is a preconception involved when discussing specific learning disabilities or learning disabilities in general.  A generalized learning disability can be the result of many things such as a neurological condition, environmental disadvantage, mental retardation or a physical diagnosis (i.e. blindness, or deafness).

Specific learning disabilities are categorized by their individual characteristics.  The inability to organize thoughts or actions, not being able to control motor functions in a way that impedes the ability to handle a pencil or crayon and even listening skills are all specific learning disabilities.

Language based learning disabilities are when a child cannot express his or herself, have difficulty reading and understanding the words, or cannot make the connection to the words being spoken and their meaning.  In these cases the parents and the educators must find alternative means in which to get across their message and for the child to express his or herself.

A test for learning disabilities will illuminate what areas the child is having problems with and then a program can be tailored to the individual needs.  The solution might be as simple as issuing clear, concise directions that are step by step.  This eliminates any confusion on the child's behalf when there is one direction issued at a time.

A great example of this would occur when a parent or teacher instructed the child to clean up an area after playtime.  Telling a child to stop what they are doing, go wash their hands, and then pick up all the play things, all at once might generate some confusion.  The child might do the first item on the list and the last item but forget the things that were said between.

Specific learning disabilities can also be discovered later in life.  Adults with learning disabilities often go years not knowing why they have difficulty reading or understanding complex orders.  By breaking down the individual tasks, it can make the overall concept a bit more manageable.

All methods in instructing students or adults with specific learning disabilities include one commonality: consistency.  There always needs to be the same rules and same guidelines.  Change, while not always bad, is something that may be upsetting when it comes to basic functions and learning.  This is why professionals advocate strongly that a consistent method and discipline always be maintained.
There is no such thing as someone that cannot be taught.  It may just mean that there must be an alternative method or technique used.  Time and patience is incredibly important to understanding that specific learning disabilities do not mean that it is a lost cause.  It may just require more understanding and knowledge.

To find out more about specific learning disabilities go to the local school or healthcare system or the Learning Disabilities Association of America.  The LDA offers information for parents, adults with learning disabilities, educators and students. 

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