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Educators & Students with Learning Disabilities: LD Basics

Educators & Students Resources on Special Needs Learning and Teaching

Disabilities Addressed in this Guide

LDs Addressed in this Guide

         A learning disability affects the way students of average to above average intelligence receive, process, and express information. Learning the basic skills of reading, writing, and math is made more difficult by these neurologically based processing disorders. This guide provides information on dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorders, and auditory and visual processing disorders, as well as related disorders, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and dyspraxia.

         Students with learning disabilities, or “learning differences", are sometimes thought of as lazy, immature, and intentionally disruptive.  They are none of these! They know they have difficulty understanding the world the way those around them do. They often have developed their own coping strategies to help functioning, such as being the class clown, or trying to "disappear into the woodwork." This is often a child that "everyone knows" is smart, if not brilliant in many ways. 

        Once parents realize something is not quite right and decide to have the child fully evaluated to find reasons for below-level work or inappropriate behavior, the family and school can begin to take the steps necessary for the child to learn strategies for decoding the world.

         As teachers, administrators, and librarians, the more we know about these disorders the better prepared we are to teach these students differently, since they are "wired" differently!       

Taking the First Step

Taking the First Step: A Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities.


The State of Learning Disabilties

From the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Provides the authoritative national and state-by-state snapshot of learning disabilities (LD) in the United States, and their impact on the ability of students and adults to achieve educational success and employment. This publication also clarifies what a learning disability is and explains the common misperceptions associated with LD.(2011) Download 32-page booklet.