Definition of a Learning Disability
When someone has a learning disability, that means they learn in a manner that is qualitatively and quantitatively different than others. This means that the individual has a more difficult time learning instructional material, but also learns in a style or method that is fundamentally different than that of his or her peers.
In order to be diagnosed with a learning disability there needs to be certain conditions met. The first among these concerns a significant discrepancy between intellectual potential and academic achievement. Intellectual potential looks at one's ability with regard to undertaking tasks requiring expressive and receptive language skills, verbal and non verbal reasoning skills, visual spatial and visual motor abilities, as well as activities that involve attention, concentration and memory. Achievement means performance in areas that involve competence in academic areas such as reading decoding or pronunciation, reading comprehension, calculation and arithmetic reasoning, spelling, writing, and oral language skills.
Having a learning disability may also involve difficulty in processing information. When subjects are taught in school, information is imparted to students through the senses of hearing and sight. This requires the brain to process information such that the instructional material is remembered, integrated and utilized so that academic skills can be performed at expected age and grade levels.
Whatever specific learning disability the child has, the staff psychologists at Howard Learning Assessment Services are thoroughly trained in the diagnosis and assessment of cognitive difficulites.
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