Types of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities (LDs) are neurological disorders that affect the brains ability to store, process, retrieve, or communicate information. They are invisible and lifelong. An LD often presents as weaknesses in listening, writing, speaking, reasoning, reading, mathematics, social skills, and memory.

People with learning disabilities often have above average intelligence, and can use compensations and accommodations to help them manage their LDs.

Common Types of Learning Disabilities


Area of difficulty: processing language
Common issues: reading, writing, and spelling.

People with dyslexia may flip letters, and have a hard time seeing and pronouncing words.


Area of difficulty: processing numbers, poor math skills, difficulty understanding concepts
Common issues: math, seeing numbers, understanding concepts

People with dyscalculia often have a hard time remembering math facts, and concepts. They can struggle understanding time and reading analog clocks. They often flip numbers and have a hard time counting by intervals.


Area of difficulty: written expression
Common issues: writing and spelling

People with dysgraphic often have messy printing. They struggle with spelling and can have a hard time expressing themselves in print. They may need help organizing their thoughts, and should use a computer when possible.


Area of difficulty: fine motor skills
Common issues: coordination, manual dexterity

People with dyspraxia struggle with movement that requires precision. They can struggle using scissors, drawing straight lines, drawing, and writing.

Processing Disorders

Auditory Processing Disorder

Area of difficulty: interpreting auditory information
Common issues: basic language development, reading

People with auditory processing disorders struggle with processing sound and often have difficulties anticipating how a speaker will end a sentence.

Visual Processing Disorder

Area of difficulty: interpreting visual information
Common issues: reading, writing, math

People with visual processing disorders may struggle with distinguishing between letters and words that are similar. They may misread letters such as “h” and “n”.

Other Related Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Area of difficulty: concentration and focus
Common issues: over-activity, distractability and impulsivity

People with ADHD can present in many different ways. Some struggle sitting still, while others may sit and day dream. They often loose interest quickly, and are easily distracted.