Learning Disabilities

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Learning Disabilities

Eleven-year-old Anna is outgoing and bright. She attempts to work hard, but her progress in school has always been slow. She is a year behind her peers, particularly in her English class and her teachers have slowly begun to reduce their expectations of her. Her parents are worried because her confidence for learning is decreasing, and there is less motivation for her to do homework and class assignments. A psychologist found that her intelligence is in the gifted range, but she has difficulty in making out written symbols. It is easy to make the assumption that Anna seems merely as a child who is slow intellectually, but when taking a closer look, it shows that she is just as intelligent but happens to suffer from a learning disorder. Students with learning disorders have brain impairments that make it difficult for them to acquire skills and knowledge accurately and fast enough to keep pace with average academic progress (Encarta, 2003, p.1). The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the causes of learning disorders, various types of disabilities, their causes, and finally how in today’s modern era assistive technology is able to reduce the frustration of students and increase their level of performance.

Defining Learning Disorders/Disabilities

The IDEA (The Health & Fitness Association) 1997 Definition of Learning Disabilities is:

“A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, d...

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Addresses the fact that health professionals, special educators, and parents must make real efforts to promote the social acceptance of children suffering with learning disabilities.

Crossen, C. (1997). Studies suggest phonics help children learning to read. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 16, 2005 from


Talks about how the earlier reading disabilities are detected the better. With proper encouragement and tools students will have more motivation for reading throughout their lives.

Sack, J.L. (1999). Schools advised to catch, treat disabilities as early as possible. Education Week, 18, 7. Received April 16, 2005 from EBSO-host.

Emphasizes importance of treating a learning disability as early as possible.

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