In the United states and other countries the terms “Learning Disability” and “Learning disorder”(LD) refers to a group of disorder that affect a broad range of academic and functional skills including the ability to speak, listen, read(dyslexia), write(dysgraphia), spell and do math(dyscalculia). People with learning disability find it difficult in performing specific tasks or skills on their own because the disorder affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information.
Language Based Learning Disabilities (LBLD)
The language based learning (LBLD) refers to diverse differences which can alter abilities such as Reading, spelling, writing in an individual.
It is difficult for students to cope with such disabilities as language is inevitable in the learning process. Language serves as bedrock for students to easily adapt to the curriculum. If a student does not understand the mode of learning which is used in impacting knowledge, then there is a slim chance for him to cope with the curriculum.
This can also impair communication skills, comprehensive, reading and full participation in school activities.
As individuals vary, the language based learning disability they have may also vary as they possess various ways of adaptation and brain functionality. A student might find it very difficult to cope with writing accurately and at the same time find it easier to cope with listening attentively and reading. Some might default in reading, spellings and writings.
These issues can be addressed. Most students who as a result of minor hindrances cant partake in intensive classes from the teacher.
For a student to develop fluent language abilities, he would be given specialized training sessions to improve better. If the student is able to adapt, then there is progress in the learning disabilities.
Most individuals also need extra tutoring, explicit and well-structured practice to be able to conquer the weakness or difficulties they experience in the process of learning.
The most common LBLD is the reading order which is commonly known as Dyslexia. They process sounds differently even when they can understand and hear the sounds properly. Some students are able to scale through some levels of education even before the teachers or parents notice their weak skills. This becomes evident when the student cannot be able to still keep up with complexity of reading.
Most students with LBLD adapt easily when they are being taught in a good learning environment with the right curriculum. LBLD can be detected at an early stage in a student’s life while in some cases it is detected much later. It is much effective when detected at an early stage as it makes it easier for the teacher to nurture the student from the basics. The student also adapt easily at the early stage of detection.
A speech language pathologist (SLP) is also needed to find the proper diagnosis for one with the LBLD. Special class’s tutorials or trainings that would focus squarely on these disabilities are essential so as to sustain the growth in language skills. The student also has to undergo assessments from home and teachers in order for them to monitor the progress in his written, comprehension and vocabulary.
Non- Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD)
The Non-Verbal Learning disability is a disorder which is brain-based. People with this disorder cannot comprehend non-verbal cues such as body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. This disorder can affect a child’s learning process and social perception by making it difficult for him to decipher any form of non-verbal communication.
NVLD have trouble understanding communication that isn’t verbal. It rarely affects a child’s speech, writing or reading skills. It makes interaction amongst peers and family become difficult because the child does not understand social signals and cues. Social interaction is determined by non-verbal cues, so kids with NVLD will be socially awkward. Although children with this disorder tend to talk a lot, they are not outspoken in a socially appropriate way. There is also the tendency for them to hoard important information socially and keeping friends would not be feasible. This can also affect participation in school activities.
The Non-Verbal language based learning (LBLD) cannot be inherited from the family like Language based learning disability. This disorder also makes them have difficulty in understanding relationships and the consequences of their actions. Most kids with this disorder are misunderstood, as parents or teachers may perceive them as being disrespectful or immature. At a young age, the kids are regarded as being gifted because they act and behave like zealous adults who are willing to learn. They tend to learn better by listening because they have excellent verbal memory and rote memory, so their disabilities are not easily detected. As the kids grow older, the symptoms of NVLD become obvious and create more problems.
The best is detecting this disorder at an early stage so as to begin proper treatments and educational strategies to curtail it from developing further in the future. It is also important to note that NVLD is not the same as Autism or Asperger’s syndrome. They all can affect the child’s social skills and social interaction but are still different.
In some cases, the NVLD co-exists with the Asperger’s syndrome. There are no medical treatments for NVLD, but if a child is affected, parents should seek professionals who will help out. If the child advances the more, it will get to a point where he can’t cope. Kids may vary in where they are being affected so in helping kids with this disorder, the first step is to understand each individual child and how it affects them. Assessments are also vital for parents and teachers to be aware of the progress in the child’s life.
Speech Disability (SD)
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. The message from the brain to the mouth is disrupted making it difficult for a person to say sounds correctly, even though the muscles are not weak.
Apraxia is caused by damage to the brain. There are two types of apraxia which are Acquired apraxia and Developmental apraxia.
Acquired apraxia occurs mostly in adults and the disorder may result from a brain injury, stroke, tumour or any illness that affects the brain.
Developmental apraxia of speech (DAS) is present from childbirth and occurs in children. Children with DAS often have a history of family members with communication disorders or learning abilities.
Children with apraxia can be difficult to understand as adults find it hard to decode what they are saying. They also have problem with syllables, sounds and words. The child is fully aware of what to say but his/her brain finds it difficult to coordinate the muscle movements needed to say those words.
Having apraxia may sometimes lead to learning problems, low self-esteem and social problems.
When a child wants to say a word, a different word can be said and the child is often aware of the mistakes and may try to repeat the word.Children with the disorder can also have speech problems like dysarthria; language problems such as poor vocabulary, incorrect grammar, problems with reading, writing, spelling, math and difficulty in arranging spoken information.
Mental counselling can also be involved if frustration and depression from the child is severe. Family and friends should avoid using complex sentences for communication.
Speech-language therapy is often helpful for these children and for people with acquired apraxia. No drug or single type of therapy has been considered appropriate to treat apatient. Each patient cases of the disorder vary and speech language pathologists can apply different techniques in treating a child.
Speech language pathologists (SLP) evaluate the child to know the right treatment necessary for improvement. They can also include sign languages for the child to easily adapt with treatment.
Children seen alone for treatment respond quickly than children seen in groups. A supportive environment is also necessary to aid progress in the therapy. If proper measures and the right treatment are taken, children with apraxia can make progress and attain good and effective communication skills.
Social Communications Disorder (SCD)
Social communication disorder can be defined as the synergistic emergence of social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics, receptive and expressive language processing.
It can also be called “Pragmatic language impairment” or “semantic pragmatic disorder”. Pragmatics refers to using language in the proper context. For example, a child is expected to develop the ability to use language differently when interacting with peers or a teacher.
SCD was only recognised as a diagnosis in 2013, when the American PsychiatricAssociation (APA) added it to the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM).
However the cause of SCD is not yet certain as various theories have emerged. A medical theory suggests that SCD disorder may be due to a ‘glitch’ in the brain’s right hemisphere that makes it harder for kids to process verbal and visual information simultaneously.
Children with SCD have problem using spoken language socially, and this can hinder good relationships with friends in school. They also find it hard to learn basic rules in a conversation: how to start, how to listen during a conversation and how to end a conversation. They tend to be proficient in their speaking skills but find it difficult to use those words to start up a conversation. Challenges with understanding nonverbal communication and information may also be experienced by children with SCD.
This disorder may lead to a child using inappropriate words in a conversation. They also find ithard to partake in social activities.
SCD is diagnosed based on difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal social communication skills. Like SCD, autism also involves difficulty with social communication skills. Autism differs from SCD, so a proper evaluation is needed to be done to rule out autism as a factor before reaching a diagnosis of SCD.
SCD can be diagnosed differently and may also occur with other conditions such as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Learning disabilities(LD) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) etc.SCD starts from childhood and may not be diagnosed in a child until the kid starts schooling.
Children can be diagnosed with SCD by proper evaluation in different settings. It could be through observation, interview, questionnaire and assessments. This evaluation helps the therapists to map out different strategies that can work for a child.
Speech language pathologists (SLP) can help to create the right treatment plan that can boost a child’s ability to interact with others.
Parents and guardians also have their role to play in grooming the child’s skill. They can help with reading lessons by making it interactive and easier for the child to understand.
Successful People With Learning Disabilities
Successful people with LD have emerged despite being diagnosed of one kind of learning disabilities or the other. This shows that they can have a normal life and improve if evaluations, treatments and thorough assessment are being carried out on the patient.
There are numerous of successful people with learning disabilities (LD) who even utilized the disability as a yardstick for success and not letting it restrain them from their purpose in life. They persevered and struggled with the disabilities and this should serve as an inspiration to all.
Some of them include:
Karina Smirnoff (ADHD):
Karina Smirnoff struggled with inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, all symptoms of ADHD. The Dancing with the Stars performer was diagnosed when a friend noticed the symptoms and areas it affected her. Karina sought diagnosis and treatment; her parents were supportive and helped her immensely. She spoke on how ADHD has impacted her life, she said, “After speaking with my doctor and getting diagnosed with ADHD, I realized that having tools, such as medication and organizational strategies would help manage my symptoms.”
Whoopi Goldberg (Dyslexia):
Actress, writer and producer Whoopi Goldberg was called ‘dumb’ while growing up. “I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb. My mother told me that.” She said in a 2004 interview.
She has acted lead roles in movies like Sister Act, The colour purple Jackflash etc. She has also won an Emmy award, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony award.
Keira Knightley (Dyslexia):
Keira was diagnosed with Dyslexia at age 6. The Pirates of the Caribbean star said that her struggles with reading at an early age made her tougher. “I drove myself into the ground trying to get over dyslexia and when I finished school I had the top grades” She proved that even with the disabilities perseverance is the key.
Justin Timberlake (ADD and OCD):
Songwriter and actor Justin Timberlake revealed in a 2008 interview that he has both Attention Deficit Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He is quoted saying “I have OCD mixed with ADD. You try leaving with that.” Despite battling his obsessive thoughts, Timberlake has had an incredibly successful career in the entertainment industry. He has won nine Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards.
Their stories show that you can be whatever you want to be irrespective of the condition you find yourself in. Being persistent, perseverant and not letting people determine your fate should be your watchword.
Learning disability is a lifelong issue but with the right support and intervention children with these disabilities can succeed. The Love Amplified Foundation seeks to redress this pressing disorder, and in order to curtail it financial assistance is needed. Donations for the students/Individuals would be aimed at the betterment of their lives.
Donate Through PayPal
There are a few things you should know about giving online. It is simple and secure, and it will only take a few moments to go through the process. Once you click on the donate button, you will be redirected to PayPal’s website. Just follow the instructions on the screen to complete your donation.
Make a One-Time Donation
(debit card, credit card, PayPal account):
Make a Recurring Donation
(PayPal account required):