Dr. Cindy Taylor

Clinical Psychologist

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Home Overview of Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities

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Dyslexia - the term dyslexia means "problem reading."  In the DMS-IV, the official diagnosis would be "Reading disorder."  Children with dyslexia have trouble learning to read and do not process the phonetic sounds of the language in the same way as other children.  Because of this, they often take only part of the word, such as the first couple of letters, and try to come up with a word that starts with those sounds.  For example, a child asked to read the word "spell" may say "sports."  Even though those words are not really similar to those who can read, a dyslexic child will see the similarities in the first letters, and also in the shape of the word. 

Dysgraphia - this term refers to a problem in the written expression of language.  This may be related to a problem with fine motor coordination and control, and individual's will often complain that their hand hurts while writing.  Many people who have dysgraphia will choose to print rather than write in cursive because the continuous hand control required to write in cursive is more painful than the coordination and control required to write individual letters, which does not require that the pencil be positioned correctly in between the letters.  Another type of dysgraphia is seen when individuals have problems with the spelling of words and correctly associating the sounds with the individual letters or letter groups that make up that sound.  This is often seen in combination with dyslexia and is due to a more general deficit in comprehending the individual parts of written language.  In other instances, people with dysgraphia have trouble with the grammar and organization of their thoughts, as when writing an essay.  Essays or papers are often seen with numerous punctuation or capitalization errors, and words tend to run together on the page as if you are looking at one long word.  The normal spacing used between words in printing may be absent, or so small that it is difficult to tell where one word ends and the next begins.

Dyscalculia - this is a learning disability in the area of math.  Arithmetic calculations can be difficult, because of the general understanding of math concepts and the ability to memorize basic math facts, such as multiplication tables and formulas.  Problems also arise when problems become more complex.  In a multiple-digit multiplication or subtraction problem, the columns of numbers may not be lined up properly, which will lead to calculation errors.  Additionally, as the math becomes more complex, such as algebra or concepts such as positive and negative numbers, signs may be copied incorrectly from one line to the next, thus making the answer incorrect.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:06  

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