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What is a Learning Disability?

There are a wide variety of learning disabilities. Each one is called a specific learning disability because each one affects an individual in a different way. One person may manifest several different specific learning disabilities. however, for convenience, we usually talk about learning disabilities as a group. Though it is difficult to attribute learning disabilities to any specific cause, we know that they can be related to genetic, congenital or acquired neuro-biological factors. They are not caused by cultural or language difference, inadequate or inappropriate instruction, socio-economic status or lack of motivation.

Frequently learning disabilities co-exist with other conditions such as attentional behavioural and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.

To achieve success, persons with learning disabilities require specialized interventions in home, shcool, community and workplace settings. These interventions can vary from person to person and must be appropriate to each person's strengths and needs. Some of these include:

  • specific instruction on how to perform a task
  • development of strategies that can compensate for an area of weakness
  • development of self-advocacy skills
  • development of strategies to accommodate areas of weakness