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Learning Difficulties

For some learning does not come easily. 


After thousands of hours of literacy teaching, around one in four Australian children are unable to read at a basic level (Lamb et al, 2015). Reading scientists estimate this is at least five times the number of children who will have significant difficulty learning to read if they are taught well. Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher-level skills such as organisation, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention. 


Generally speaking, people with learning difficulties are of average or above-average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”: the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age. A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning difficulties can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community. Learning difficulties are often diagnosed under an umbrella term "Specific Learning Disabilities".



A specific learning disability affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. Individuals with this type of LD may also have poor comprehension of math symbols, may struggle with memorizing and organizing numbers, have difficulty telling time, or have trouble with counting.


A specific learning disability affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills. Problems may include illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time.


A specific learning disability that affects reading and related language-based processing skills. The severity can differ in each individual but can affect reading fluency, decoding, reading comprehension, recall, writing, spelling, and sometimes speech and can exist along with other related disorders. Dyslexia is sometimes referred to as a Language-Based Learning Disability.

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