Learning Disabilities and How It Effects Lives

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Learning Disabilities
Learning disability is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. It is thought to be a neurological or processing disorder that affects the brain's ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. It can cause a person to have difficulty learning and using certain skills despite having at least average intelligence. The skills most often affected are reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and doing math.
The legal definition of learning disability comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This is a federal law that guides how schools provide special education and related services to children with disabilities. IDEA defines a specific learning disability as “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.” However, learning disabilities do not include learning problems that are mainly the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. Many states use a discrepancy formula to define learning disability. That is, the student shows a gap, often of 2 years or more, between his or her IQ score and achievement level in a particular area.

As many as one in five people in the United States has a learning disability. About 5% of the total population of all school-...

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...day, have become more common. This has been partially in response to calls to reduce the stigma of being labeled as learning disabled, to expose the learning disabled child to the real world, and to provide the learning disabled child access to more advanced curricular content. The research on the effects of mainstreaming are inconclusive, based on a small number of studies, and focused more on children with mild learning disabilities than with moderate and severe disabilities. The general conclusion at this time is that there is a small to moderate beneficial effect of inclusive education on the academic and social outcomes of special-needs children. However, this effect should be evaluated in terms of the type and severity of the learning disability, the quality of training provided to the teacher, and the level and kinds of support available in the school system.

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