Learning Difficulties

Learning difficulties impact an individual’s ability to learn at the same speed or in the same way as their peers. Some children try really hard at school, but continue to struggle. These difficulties can be in specific areas or they may impact learning across all subjects.

Up to 15 percent of school-age children struggle with a learning disability. In these children, the barrier to effective learning is a part of their genetic make-up. They are almost always of average or above average intelligence, but they have a specific condition which has a significant impact on their learning. Therefore, these students have a specific learning disorder (SLD).

A specific learning disability is generally recognised as resulting in the child (or adult) “learning differently”. If it is apparent that this difference is interfering with a person’s capacity to access the curriculum or demonstrate their skills and knowledge, an individually targeted intervention should be provided. This should include both remediation and accommodation.

There are several developmental difficulties which may explain learning challenges:

  • Cognitive processing difficulty (including working memory deficits)
  • Attention-based learning difficulties
  • Speech and Language processing difficulties
  • Oral and written language difficulties
  • Reading Disorder (e.g. Dyslexia)
  • Writing Disorder (e.g. Dysgraphia)
  • Mathematics Disorder (e.g. Dyscalculia)

Children who have a learning disability may have difficulty in areas such as:

  • Maintaining concentration
  • Recalling information
  • Reading (e.g., inaccurate, slow and only with much effort)
  • Understanding the meaning of what is read
  • Spelling
  • Written expression (e.g., messy handwriting, problems with grammar, punctuation or organization)
  • Understanding number concepts, number facts or calculation
  • Mathematical reasoning (e.g., applying math concepts or solving math problems)

Click here for a guide to important signs of a learning disorder.

Next Steps

Your Psych Centre can provide a comprehensive and diagnostic assessment service that will help shape your child’s academic future and confidence. Contact us for a confidential appointment to discuss your concerns – no referral is necessary.