An Introduction To Language Based Learning Disabilities
Language based learning disabilities
include any disabilities that affect language, from trouble distinguishing letters to difficulty in reading
Learning disabilities fall into two major types. The first is non-verbal, which includes
disabilities from psychomotor difficulties to dyscalculia.
The other type is language based. Language based learning disabilities include any disabilities
that affect language, from trouble distinguishing letters to difficulty in reading comprehension.
Dyslexia is probably the most well known language based learning disability, and may be the most
common. However, dyslexia is not the only learning disability based on language. Often dyslexia is a part of a
larger learning disability.
Dyslexia causes problems with written language. Students with dyslexia have trouble learning to
read because they have difficulty in identifying both letters and phonemes. They may also have problems in writing
due to a tendency to misidentify or reverse certain letters. This reversed writing is one of the best-known
symptoms of dyslexia and is often the catalyst that leads to a diagnosis.
Students with learning disabilities that include dyslexia may also have trouble with numbers, as
the tendency to flip or reverse letters may extend to multi-digit numbers as well. The number 1340 might become
1430 for example. Learning disabled children often have serious trouble memorizing their own address as well as
those of others, as both the street number and name might be reversed or flipped.
Learning disabled children who suffer language based learning disabilities may exhibit trouble
with short term memory. They may have difficulty following the steps of mathematical calculations or remembering
instructions. Students with learning disabilities that involve language may not correctly hear or remember things
that are said, and may have trouble processing verbally presented information.
Language based learning disabilities appear to be hereditary in many cases. Brain analyses have
demonstrated that people with learning disabilities actually exhibit a slight difference in brain structure. This
difference is what causes the person's difficulties. Therefore, children whose families have a history of learning
disabilities should be closely monitored for signs of difficulty.
This does not mean that those without a family history are immune to developing a learning
disability. All children should be watched for the following warning signs of possible language based learning
disabilities: difficulty in learning to read; difficulty in expressing thoughts using age-appropriate vocabulary;
difficulties with grammar; difficulty in properly pronouncing words; difficulty in organizing and planning. Other
symptoms of learning disability include: letter or number reversal or misplacement; difficulty telling left from
right; difficulty performing calculations; trouble remembering plot lines; telling time.
If possible symptoms of language based learning disabilities are noticed, it is important the
student receive a learning disability test. A diagnosis is generally required in order for learning disabled
children to receive benefits under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This Act ensures that students
with learning disabilities, as well as those with other types of disability, are given the resources and tools
necessary to achieve maximum success within the school setting.
It is not currently possible to cure language based learning disabilities. However, with proper
diagnosis and treatment, students with learning disabilities can grow to become successful and productive adults.
Adults who are involved in a child's life should be aware of the symptoms of learning disabilities and intervene as
necessary. In this way, a learning disability can be managed appropriately and integrated as a part of the child's
Next article: Coping
With Gifted And Learning Disabled Children
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