Specific Learning Disabilities
What is a Specific Learning Disability?
A Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a neurological (brain based) disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in difficulty to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations.
It includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities (visual and auditory perception), brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia but it does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
An SLD often shows up in issues with direction (e.g. left, right; up down, underneath, beside), sequencing (e.g. the order in which letters occur in a word, or the steps in a maths problem), short-term memory retention and inefficient working memory as well as a drastic discrepancy between intellectual ability and academic achievement which can result in severe under-achievement.
Although it is a permanent condition, intervention teaches children to manage and often overcome their disability. Because of the plasticity of the brain, remedial teaching is able to “re-wire” the brain. This involves time, correct intervention and hard work.
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