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Specific Learning Disability: An overview

Specific learning disability(SLD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that negatively impacts a person’s ability to listen, speak, read, write, or make calculations. Since such disorders usually begin at an early age, it is easy to identify the learning difficulties in their childhood.. However, some issues may not be recognized until adulthood.


Learning disabilities can vary from one child to another. For instance, one child may be struggling with spelling and reading, while another loves to read but won’t understand simple math equations. Sometimes children may have difficulty communicating and understanding what another person is trying to say. To identify the learning difficulties of students, you have to understand that the problems are very different.

Since there is a wide variety of learning disorders in children, there is no single symptom or profile that you can look at as the cause of the problem. But, there are some warning signs which are common and appear at different ages. You must know what these signs are so that you can catch the disability in the early stages and receive learning disability treatment and intervention.

Listed below is a checklist of common red flags that come with learning disorders in children. You have to remember that children who don’t have learning disorders can still face difficulties while learning. You should be concerned when your child is consistently uneven in mastering specific skills.

Symptoms of learning disabilities at preschool age:

  • Having trouble pronouncing words
  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Finding it challenging to follow directions or learning routines
  • Having difficulty controlling crayons and pencils

Symptoms of learning disabilities from age 5-9:

  • Unable to blend syllables to make coherent sounds
  • Slow to learn new skills
  • Trouble grasping basic math concepts
  • Finding it difficult to tell time and remember a certain sequence
  • Persistent difficulties in reading, writing, arithmetic or mathematical reasoning
  • Inaccurate and slow reading and difficulty with spelling
  • Problems with grammar, punctuation or organization while writing
  • Difficulty in remembering number facts

Having a learning disability is a lifelong challenge. But, with appropriate support, learning disability treatment and intervention, one can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, as well as in society. 

Types of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities is an umbrella term that refers to the following specific learning disorders in children.

Dyslexia: Dyslexia in children is characterised by a difficulty with reading. They find it hard to associate the letters they see on a page with the sounds they make due to which they can’t read something fluently and effortlessly.

The signs of dyslexia can be seen in children even before they start learning to read. It is often seen that people with the condition will have difficulty breaking down spoken words into syllables as well. Children in kindergarten won’t be able to learn to recognise and write letters as quickly as their peers. Besides, dyslexic individuals may also have troubles with spelling and accuracy.

Dysgraphia: In dysgraphia, a child’s handwriting ability and motor skills are affected. They will have difficulty with writing, the spacing between words, grammar, spatial planning on paper, punctuation, etc. 

Dyscalculia: Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a child’s ability to learn number – related concepts and perform mathematical calculations using its functions and symbols.



If learning disorders are not identified and managed at the right time, it can have adverse impacts throughout the life of an individual. In addition to having low academic achievements, they will be prone to developing poor mental health, low self-esteem, psychological distress, and have a higher risk of dropping out of school and under-employment/unemployment.

So, is there any treatment for learning disabilities?

Although there’s no cure for a specific learning disorder, certain methods that can be followed for SLD treatment and improving the reading, writing, and mathematical skills of a child.

Children who have specific language disorders with reading.

Special teaching techniques: This includes helping a child learn through various multisensory experiences. It’s done by providing immediate feedback, which increases and strengthens the child’s ability to recognize words.

Classroom modifications: In this treatment, the teacher can provide students extra time to finish tasks and provide recorded tests. This will allow children to listen to questions, instead of having to read them.

Using technology: Children who have reading impairment will benefit from audiobooks or they can use word processing programs with spell check features

If your child has a reading impairment, then you can seek a rehabilitation center in Bangalore for an effective treatment.

Children with written expression impairment:

Special tool: here teachers can offer oral tests or allow the student to videotape the reports

Using technology: Children can use word processing programs, instead of writing by hand. A rehab in Bangalore will teach your child to use technology to overcome written expression impairment

Bangalore rehabilitation center also suggest providing study sheets that help kids overcome the need for writing

For kids who are impaired in mathematics, experts at Bangalore rehabilitation center suggests the following treatments:

Visual techniques- teachers can draw pictures of word problems and show the child how to differentiate between problems.

Using memory aids- Music and rhyme help the child memorize and retain the math concepts

Using computers- A child can use computers for practice and math drills.

For children with reading difficulties –

  • Special teaching techniques can be used that may include multisensory experiences to help a child learn.
  • Some modifications can be done within the classroom, such as giving extra time to complete the tasks or providing recorded tests to enable the child to hear the questions.
  • Children with reading impairment can benefit from listening to audiobooks or using word-processing programs.

For children with writing disabilities –

  • Students can be allowed to offer oral exams.
  • A child can be allowed to use an audio recorder in class instead of taking notes on paper.
  • The teacher may also provide printed study notes to reduce the need for writing.

For impairment in mathematics –

  • Visual techniques can be adopted to draw pictures of word problems or using coloured pencils to mark different parts of problems.
  • Learning math concepts can be easier with rhymes and music.
  • Computers may be used as well for math drills and practice.


For the appropriate diagnosis of specific learning disabilities, several types of tests are conducted, which include

  • Intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WIPPSI), Differential Abilities Scales (DAS), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), etc.
  • Achievement tests, such as the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (WJ), etc.
  • Visual-motor integration tests like the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration and the Bender Visual Motor Integration.
  • Language tests like Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation, Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Test of Language Development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Children have their own pace and style of learning things. But if you see that your child is having trouble with numbers, speech, or letters, it’s one of the early signs that your child might be having a learning disability. Although the child may have average or above-average intelligence, they will often find it hard to express their knowledge and master certain tasks.

If your child is a slow learner, their thinking skills and intelligence will develop slowly as compared to other children in their age group. However, they will go through the same basic developmental stages as other children.
It could be due to a deficit in the functioning of the central nervous system making it difficult for them to read, write, reason, memorize, pay attention, and lack in motor coordination, visual perception, impulse control, etc.

A learning disorder is a lifelong issue. Although it can’t be cured, it can be managed with the right support and intervention so that children with the disorder can do well in schools and build a successful career in their lives.

Yes, learning disabilities have a genetic component and can run in families. Just like other traits that we inherit from our parents and grandparents, learning abilities can also be passed down in the family through the genes. It is highly likely for a child to have similar learning disabilities as their parents.

Learning disorder, in no way, indicates that a child is less intelligent. Children with a learning disorder, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia will need additional help and will have to adopt certain strategies to overcome their difficulties. A learning therapist can guide your child on how to study more effectively. 
If your loved one is dealing with Specific Learning Difficulties, reach us at +91 97414 76476. We are always there to help you. Reach out to us today to know more about specific learning disabilities. You can also mail us your queries to info@cadabamshospitals.com.
Disclaimer- It is important to note that the word disorder should not be used. Instead, the phrase learning disabilities or learning differences. When using the word disabilities, ensure that there is an emphasis on the person having the disability, i.e – ‘person with the disability’ as opposed to ‘diasabled’. Learning differences, in particular, include conditions that may not be medically diagnosed in certain countries and aptly address the varying intensity and different types.

Why Cadabams?

  • Our treatment programs and methods are designed to cater to your child’s unique and evolving needs.
  • We can help advance your child’s skills with our education plan and resources which is precisely tailored for them.
  • We monitor your child’s progress on a regular basis and constantly focus on updating the programs accordingly.
  • Our child development experts work with you and other members of the mental healthcare team to help your child cope up with learning disabilities in an effective way.

Luxurious Living

At Cadabams, we provide clean, modern, fully furnished accommodations with all the necessary creature comforts.

Modern Amenities

Kitchen and dining hall, laundry facilities, indoor games area, yoga and meditation hall, outdoor games area for cricket, badminton, Round the clock psychiatrist and counsellor support, 24×7 ambulance on demand.

Healthy Cuisine

Our everyday menu is curated by Dieticians aimed at providing healthy and nutritious and tasty meals to satisfy everyone’s palate.

Entertainment Options

Recreation facilities such as TV, sports, gym, picnics and outings and more.

A child with SLD is able in all areas like other children except in one of the areas of learning like difficulty to write (Dysgraphia).

Dysgraphia is difficulty in writing resulting in inaccurate and illegible writing. Dysgraphia exists in a varying degree which does not match the person’s intelligence and ability to read.

Dyslexia is the difficulty with the use of both written and oral language. Dyslexia varies between individuals and can occur in people of all abilities; Most often, people with dyslexia have distinctive talents as well as a typical cluster of difficulties.

Dyscalculia is the difficulty with mathematical skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and mental arithmetic. People with dyscalculia also have difficulty with abstract concepts of time and direction or a sequence of events. They may also have a poor sense of direction and can get lost.

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