Learning Disabilities, or LDs, affect one or more of the ways that a person takes in, stores, or uses information.
LDs come in many forms and affect people with varying levels of severity. Between 5 and 10 percent of Canadians have LDs.
LDs are a life-long condition, they do not go away but can be coped with successfully by using areas of strength to compensate and accommodations such as technology.
A quick example
A child could have an LD that affected her reading and understanding.
She knows how to read, but the process of decoding the words and sentences takes so much effort, resulting in her comprehending little of what she's read.
This child has learned that she can adapt by recording lessons to listen to later, and listens to audio-books on tape and CD.
She has compensated by using her strong listening skills.
A person's individual pattern of learning abilities needs to be understood in order to effectively implement strategies for compensation, as LDs and their effects can be quite different from person to person.
Every child is unique, however, they may exhibit some of the following signs
- Delays in what are considered to be normal milestones in childhood development such as talking, sitting, walking, toilet training
- Difficulty following directions
- Fearless, impulsive, uncontrollable behaviour
- Short attention span, forgets or misunderstands verbal instructions
- Poor gross and/or motor skills
- General disorganization
- Uneven test results in performance areas – unusual highs and lows
- Inept at reading, social cues or body language
- Quiet and bothers no one in the classroom but doesn't learn
- Says "I don't care" or "I won't" when he/she really means "I can't".