Learning Disabilities Law and Legal Definition

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.

Every individual with a learning disability is unique and shows a different combination and degree of difficulties. A common characteristic among people with learning disabilities is uneven areas of ability, “a weakness within a sea of strengths.” For instance, a child with dyslexia who struggles with reading, writing and spelling may be very capable in math and science. Performance on standardized tests that is below that which would be expected for the child's age, schooling and level of intelligence are customarily used as preliminary diagnostic tools to identify areas where children are experiencing difficulties.

Children with learning disabilities may be of average or above average intelligence, but experience difficulty in learning, differentiating, processing, storing and/or otherwise maximizing their use of information. Some children with LD will find it difficult to learn in a conventional classroom environment, and may need to attend LD classes for a period of time in order to help them achieve their potential in school. Typical learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia – often complicated by associated disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.