A learning disability–or an LD–is a condition in the brain that can make it difficult for a person to comprehend one or more sections of learning (reading, writing, math, etc.). These disabilities are generally something that people are born with, during the first few months of a woman’s pregnancy when the baby’s brain is forming in the womb. The best way to describe how this is that the brain wires itself as the baby forms, but in these cases, there is a wire or two that is incorrectly matched. There are plenty of cases that are prevalent in a child’s learning early on in their life, where they may have trouble reading, writing, or in math. However, there are several cases where a person is a great student in their younger years at primary school when things are easier, but as a teen learning is much more complex and this is when a learning disability may show. This does not mean that a student simply acquired this disability when they got older, but because the LD was dormant while things were easy, and then the brain had trouble processing harder and more complex information.
Only about 15% of the United States population has a learning disability, that is about 3 million people, which also translates to one in seven people. Although learning disabilities limit people on what they can learn, it is not impossible to still succeed. With a little extra time and programs like IEP’s, there is ample opportunity for individuals to succeed and keep up with the rest of their peers. The general idea of a learning disability was referred to as a “hidden handicap” in an article by Jan Farrington which is the perfect way to describe an LD. Most people view the word handicap as someone who is physically incapable or unable to perform an outward task. However, handicap is defined as a ‘disadvantage that makes life more difficult’, which branches out to all aspects of life, not solely a physical handicap.
The biggest issue with learning disabilities in schools goes back to the idea that most teachers and administrators do not realize when a child is suffering from a learning disorder. When the disability is ignored, the given student will more than likely fall behind in their learning, which can greatly effect the student’s confidence and self esteem. They can be left feeling stupid and like they are not as good as the other kids, especially if they are being punished for behaviors they cannot control. So, as hard as it may be to observe all of the children in a classroom equally, it is extremely important to make sure that each student is cared for in order to reach their highest potential. With the correct diagnosis and program to help a child excel, there is nothing that can stop a child with a learning disability of having the same level of success as a child without one.
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What Are Learning Disabilities? by Reagan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.