What You Should Know About LDs

  • Learning Disabilities (LDs) are specific neurological disorders that affect the brain’s ability to store, process, retrieve or communicate information. They are invisible and lifelong.
  • Manifested by significant weaknesses in listening, writing, speaking, reasoning, reading, mathermatics, social skills and/or memory in a pattern of uneven abilities
  • LDs can be compensated for through alternate ways of learning, accommodations and modifications.
  • LDs can occur with other disorders (ADHD, etc) and may run in families
  • LDs are NOT the same as mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, behavioral disorders or laziness.
  • LDs are not the result of economic disadvantage, environmental factors or cultural differences.


LD Terminology

Type of LDs: Area of Difficulty: Symptoms include trouble with: Example:
Dyslexia Processing language Reading, writing, and spelling Letters and words may be written or pronounced inaccurately
Dyscalculia Math skills and concepts Computation, remembering math facts, concepts of time, money, grasping math concepts, etc. Difficulty learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s
Dysgraphia Written expression Handwriting, spelling, expressing ideas on paper Illegible handwriting, difficulty organizing ideas, getting thoughts on paper
Dyspraxia Fine motor skills Coordination, manual dexterity Trouble with scissors, buttons, drawing, writing


Information Processing Disorders

Type of LDs Area of Difficulty Symptoms include trouble with: Example
Auditory Processing Disorder Interpreting auditory information Language Development, reading Difficulty anticipating how a speaker will end a sentence.
Visual Processing Disorder Interpreting visual information Reading, writing and math Difficulty distinguishing letters like “h” and “n”


Other Related Disorders

Type of LDs Area of Difficulty Symptoms include trouble with: Example
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Concentration and focus Over-activity, distractibility and/or impulsivity Can’t sit still, loses interest quickly, is easily distracted, may daydream



This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program. “The opinions and interpretations in publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.”