Learning disorders are academic difficulties experienced by children and adults of average to above-average intelligence. People with learning disorders have difficulty with reading, writing, mathematics, or a combination
of the three. These difficulties significantly interfere with academic achievement or daily living.
Children with learning disorders, or disabilities, have specific impairments in acquiring, retaining, and processing information. Standardized tests place them well below their IQ range in their area of difficulty. The five main types of learning disorders are reading disorders, mathematics disorders, disorders of written expression, disorders of fine motor skills, and information processing disorders.
Reading disorders are the most common type of learning disorder. Children with reading disorders have difficulty recognizing and interpreting letters and words (dyslexia). They are unable to recognize and decode the sounds and syllables (phonetic structure) behind written words and language in general. This condition lowers accuracy and comprehension in reading.
Children with mathematics disorders (dyscalculia) have problems recognizing and counting numbers correctly. They have difficulty using numbers in everyday settings. Mathematics disorders are typically diagnosed in the first few years of elementary school when formal teaching of numbers and basic math concepts begins. Children with mathematics disorders usually have a coexisting reading disorder, a disorder of written expression, or both.
Disorders of written expression
Disorders of written expression typically occur in combination with reading disorders or mathematics disorders or both. The condition is characterized by difficulty with written compositions (dysgraphia). Children with this type of learning disorder have problems with spelling, punctuation, grammar, and organizing their thoughts in writing.
Disorders of fine motor skills
Children with motor skill disorders (dyspraxia) have coordination problems and may have difficulty with handwriting tasks and speech patterns. Dyspraxia tends to affect boys more than girls.
Paula Ford-Martin, Rebecca J. Frey PhD, Thomson Gale, Gale, Detroit,