About specific learning disability
Children with a specific learning disability find a specific area of learning very challenging, such as reading, spelling, handwriting or mathematics, but do well in other areas of learning. Some may even excel in other areas of learning. Children with specific learning disabilities often have other developmental disorders too, such as ADHD. A child can have more than one specific learning disability. Some common specific learning disabilities include:
What might be some strengths?
- Children with specific learning disabilities may do well in, and even excel in, other areas of their learning.
- Children with a reading disability may be good at nonverbal tasks. They may be particularly good with visual-spatial skills (ability to mentally picture and move images).
- Children with a reading disability may have a good understanding of information taught out loud or using images.
Where might you provide support?
- Children with specific learning disabilities may take longer to learn new information in a specific area of learning. They may need extra help in the area of learning they find difficult.
- Children with a reading disability may find other subjects difficult if there is a lot of reading. This is because it can take them much longer to read the information, and they may not understand what they read.
- Many children with a specific learning disability need support with tasks where they need to remember lots of steps.
- Some children with a specific learning disability may find it difficult to find rhythms in music or text.
- Some children may find gross or fine motor tasks difficult.
Directly tackle underlying skills
Engage other senses and make learning fun
Provide lots of opportunities to practise
Consider how you give instructions
Provide students with extra supports and strategies
Best practice tips
Visit our resources page for a range of resources that can help to create inclusive education environments for children with disabilities and developmental challenges. Some particularly relevant resources for children with specific learning disabilities include: