What is a Learning Disability?

Learning Disability

Many children have difficulty picking up tasks like reading, writing or other learning activities at some point in their childhood. While these can be a sign of a learning disability, they certainly don’t guarantee that one is present. Here’s a brief overview of what a learning disability is, what it may look like and some first steps you can take so your child the help they need to thrive.

What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is considered any mental condition that keeps a child from absorbing the same amount of conventionally demonstratable knowledge as their peers. Children with learning disabilities are just as intelligent as those without them, but they may have a harder time demonstrating that knowledge or absorbing new information in a traditional classroom setting. So, if a child is struggling with reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information over time, we can get a much clearer idea if a disability is causing these challenges.

Common Learning Disabilities

The “Dys” Prefix

We see many learning disabilities that begin with the “Dys” (difficulty) prefix. Most often, these are:

  • Dyslexia – Hinders a child’s ability to make the connections between letters and sounds, spell and recognize words.
  • Dysgraphia – Hinders a child’s ability to write over an extended period.
  • Dyscalculia – Prevents children from gaining a firm understanding of fundamental arithmetic concepts.
  • Dyspraxia – Affects a child’s ability to automate gestures or motor tasks like hand-eye coordination.


Children with ADHD struggle with hyperactivity, impulsiveness and developing their attention span. Often, these struggles contribute to lowered self-esteem and difficulty in school.

Discovering a Learning Disability

Have you noticed that your child is affected by any of the above symptoms? If you or your child’s teachers suspect your child may have a learning disability, a neurophysiological assessment and review of cognitive functions will give you the needed insight and allow you to make a plan for moving forward. Once a learning disability is identified, you can explore remediation, re-education and treatment options with your child’s neuropsychologist.

Ultimately, while a learning disability can’t be cured, the right support, encouragement, intervention and advocation will allow your child to continue their trajectory toward a happy, fulfilling life.

Reflect Neuropsychology Can Provide Help

Reflect Neuropsychology is a leading neuropsychology firm in Southern California. We specialize in counseling, therapy and neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and adults, as well as forensic neuropsychology. We can provide evaluations for undue influence and mental capacity along with our other services. As a highly specialized practice, we can focus on evidence-based, personally tailored treatment and evaluation. To learn more about our services and schedule an appointment, visit us online or call us at (818) 324-3800.

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