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What are the Most Common Learning Disabilities and What Do They Affect?

Decoding the Lingo

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When learning about a diagnosis, all of the new abbreviations, terms and lingo can make you feel like you are wading through alphabet soup. Here is a primer on three common learning disabilities (LD) and the basic characteristics of each. To learn more about learning and attention issues, visit ncld.org or understood.org.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the most common types of specific learning disabilities impact reading, math and written expression. Here’s how they define each.

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READING

Dyslexia is the term associated with specific learning disabilities in reading. Although features of LD in reading vary from person to person, common characteristics include:

WRITING

Dysgraphia is the term associated with specific learning disabilities in writing. It is used to capture both the physical act of writing and the quality of written expression. Features of learning disabilities in writing are often seen in individuals who struggle with dyslexia and dyscalculia, and will vary from person to person and at different ages and stages of development. Common characteristics include:

MATH

Dyscalculia is the term associated with specific learning disabilities in math. Although features of LD in math vary from person to person, common characteristics include:

Excerpted with permission from The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues, 2014. Reprinted courtesy of NCLD.org © 2014 NCLD, Inc. All rights reserved.

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