Fall semester topics

Learning disabilities (LD)

This week we bring LD into focus. Even if you are personally not effected by it, there is a great chance that someone is in your enviornment. This classification includes several areas of (dis)functioning in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors. The most common learning disabilities are:

Reading disorder (e.g.: dyslexia earlier called "word blindness")
Disorder of Written Expression (e.g.: dysphasia/Aphasia)
Math disability (e.g.:dyscalculia)
Non ICD-10/DSM (e.g.: nonverbal learning disability)

Of all students with specific learning disabilities, 70%-80% have deficits in reading. Certanily "adults with learning disabilities can make successful life adjustments and lead fulfilling lives. Here are some words of advice from successful adults with LD who have overcome obstacles and achieved success in school, at work, and in the community.

- Recognize and accept your disability.
- Understand your disability and how it affects your life.
- Understand and value your unique strengths, talents and abilities.
- Learn strategies and techniques to work around your disability.
- Be goal-oriented and persevere in working toward and achieving positive results.
- Learn from failures and take action to change what's not working.
- Build a support network of teachers, family members, friends, counselors and co-workers.

In addition to taking advice from others, many adults with learning disabilities have learned to use assistive technology to help them be more successful and productive in school, at work and at home. Success doesn't happen overnight. It's a continuous process of understanding your strengths and challenges, and then making adjustments as needed." Source info

Today we would particularly like to focus on another common disorder relating to LD called: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD which is a psychological condition that begins in early childhood and frequently persists into adulthood. In general, males have a higher prevalence rate of the disorder than women. There are three broad sets of symptoms associated with ADHD: inattention and distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is not necessary to have symptoms from all three areas to meet criteria for ADHD and many adults experience primarily the cognitive symptoms of inattention and distractibility. The hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms are more common in males and are typically more severe earlier in childhood. In addition to these primary symptoms, many children with ADHD experience secondary problems, including significant academic difficulties during their early school years and/or interpersonal difficulties with peers.

More on ADHD

  • Gender differences in ADHD
  • Additional web resources