Learning Differences -The Basics

Having a learning difference (often referred to as having a learning disability) simply means that a student learns differently than the larger majority of students. This means that the way schools normally teach a subject may not sit well with students that have learning differences. This could cause these students to learn much more slowly than the other students in their class, but this does NOT, we repeat, does NOT mean that students with learning differences are stupid or have low I.Q's. In fact, people with learning differences tend to be very smart! They are out of the box thinkers and are very talented in other areas, for example art, music, acting, story-telling and many, many more things! In schools, specific learning differences such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia give students the most trouble since they are attached to everything the schools say a students needs; reading, writing and arithmetic. So let's take a brief look at these 3 specific learning differences.



Dyslexia: 
Dyslexia is one of the most common learning differences, about 1 in 5 (20%) of the US population. People with dyslexia have a hard time learning to read, and even comprehend texts. It can also affect their ability to spell multiple syllabic words. Dyslexic people do tend to be very intelligent, out of the box thinkers.

Symptoms:
Feeling fatigued while reading
Difficulty with spelling
Trouble decoding words
Having a hard time recognizing familiar words


Dysgraphia: Around 17 in 100 (17%) of the US population has Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia affects a person’s abilities to write by hand. It is sometimes confused with Dyslexia but it’s not the same. A person with Dysgraphia’s handwriting can be very messy and hard to read. Dysgraphia is one of those learning differences that people will brush off and say people with this learning difference are “just lazy” but this is not the case at all! There are very smart people out there with dysgraphia!

Symptoms:
Tight, awkward pencil grip
Messy hand writing 
Trouble putting thoughts down on paper 
Difficulty with spacing and staying in the margins

Dyscalculia:Dyscalculia is very easily confused with laziness, but it is not in any way! Dyscalculia affects the ability to understand numbers and do accurate calculations. It affects about 6% of the US population, so it’s one of the rarer learning differences, but it’s still incredibly relevant, considering jobs involving math (tech developers, economists, actuaries, etc) have very high salaries in today’s world.

Symptoms:
Difficulty performing calculations
Troubling remembering rules and facts in math

Struggles to perform mental arithmetic 
Difficulty with estimation

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