Learning Disabilities Definition

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Definition, Characteristics, and Etiology or Causes It is only in the 1960’s that the term ‘learning disabilities’ were used to refer to severe learning problems of individuals in order to provide administrative convenience and focus of advocacy. Although findings related to learning disabilities date back in the 1800s, Learning Disabilities is still a new area of Special Education and there is no single agreed upon definition of it yet. One influential definition that is accepted by most educators is the definition by the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities in 1981 which states that: “Learning disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition …show more content…

Common to individuals with learning disabilities are the following characteristics: a) delayed spoken language development manifested by limited or immature vocabulary, difficulty in organizing ideas in logical sequence, and confusion during complex conversations; b) poor spatial coordination manifested by unusual difficulty when oriented in new surroundings, and difficulty in finding objects or arranging and organizing their belongings; c) inadequate time concepts in which an individual lacks a sense of time or may not be aware of the passage of time that is why he or she is often late or unprepared, and cannot break down tasks into manageable segments; d) difficulty in managing relationships which means an individual may have difficulty noticing similarities or differences between concepts or objects or lack of judgment about what is important; e) direction related confusion or the inability to comprehend guidelines or instructions and to utilize concepts of right, left, up, down and so on; f) poor general motor coordination which may include clumsiness, poor coordination, poor balance, or falling down a lot; g) poor manual dexterity or inability to manipulate equipments such as pens or books and often forget tasks needed to be done; h) social imperceptions manifested by behaviors inappropriate to an individual’s age, may be insensitive to others, and may not adapt social behaviors; i) inattention or the inability to concentrate or focus for long periods of time; j) …show more content…

The cause of a learning disability is generally deemed to be related to the brain-neurologic system and thus, assumed to be caused by the following biological factors: a) brain injury from accidents, brain hemorrhages and tumors, and from exposure to toxic chemicals; b) errors in brain development in which there is slow development and maturation of certain regions of the brain necessary for certain cognitive processes like higher level thinking and “neural wirings” for processing information; c) chemical imbalances in the brain which is evident on cases involving difficulties in attention, impulsivity, and distractibility because of deficiencies in certain classes of neurotransmitters that control neural systems in the brain like for instance deficiency in Catecholamines for individuals with ADHD; and d) heredity in which researches show incidences of similar learning problems among parents, siblings, and other related individuals, and recently showed possibility that a specific gene is responsible for learning disabilities. Moreover, environmental factors such as the home and school environment, and child-rearing practices are also being considered because of its impact on the success or failure of learning disabled individuals. Factors such as emotional stress can affect an individual’s ability to learn. For instance, students with learning disability may not be able

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