Learning disorders: Know the signs, how to help

What are some common types of learning disorders?

A learning disorder is a disorder that affects a person's ability to acquire and use academic skills, such as reading and calculating. Learning disorders aren't the same as mental or physical disabilities, and don't reflect a child's intelligence. Instead, learning disorders affect a child's ability to complete a task or use certain skills, particularly in school.

The most common learning disorders include:

  • Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading, spelling and recalling known words.
  • Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a learning disorder related to math concepts. Signs include difficulty solving even simple math problems or sequencing information or events.
  • Nonverbal learning disability. This learning disorder is characterized by difficulty with nonverbal cues, such as coordination and body language.
  • Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty with handwriting, spelling, and thinking and writing at the same time.

Some children might have more than one learning disorder.

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