Learning and attention differences impact reading, writing, math, and/or focus. These differences aren’t related to intelligence but are based on how the brain processes information.
Learning and attention differences can leave children and families feeling helpless and like failures. If your child is experiencing a learning difference, you are not alone. One in five people in the U.S. have a learning difference, such as dyslexia or ADHD. With the help of an expert, your family can experience reduced anxiety related to this difference, gain more time back in your schedule, and turn a present weakness into a future strength.
Our brains process information differently, and as a result, we all learn information differently. “Learning differences” refer to the different ways all students learn.
Learning differences can negatively impact an individual’s ability to read, write, pay attention, and stay organized. Experts believe that genetics play a role in learning differences and that these differences tend to run in families. Learning differences are based in biology. Individuals with learning differences can struggle to sustain focus, make decisions, stay organized, or follow multiple-step directions.
Without early and effective interventions by trained experts, students with learning differences are at significant risk of falling behind their peers, experiencing low self-esteem, and/or dropping out of school.
The terms differences, difficulties, and disabilities often get used interchangeably but are different. Unlike learning differences, which reflect the diverse ways all students learn, learning difficulties are related to external factors outside of differences or disabilities. Examples include absenteeism, English as a second language, lower socioeconomic status, or family trauma. These environmental factors can make it difficult for a student to learn or to meet school expectations. While learning difficulties can present similarly, they are environmentally rooted challenges.
Learning disabilities can be diagnosed and individuals with learning disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A learning disability is a formal diagnosis, made by a licensed clinician. Learning disabilities are intrinsic, lifelong, and neurologically based. The formal diagnosis of dyslexia, for example, is a learning disability.
Learning differences are often grouped by difficulties in reading, writing, or math. Many are not exclusive. Often people who learn and think differently struggle in more than one area. A specific function of one disorder my cause difficulties for a variety of tasks.
Students who struggle with learning differences might also have trouble having conversations, following daily routines, managing emotions, or sustaining focus.
The most common learning differences are:
Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Auditory-processing Disorder, Visual-Processing Disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder
There is no single specific cause for learning disabilities or differences. Experts point to several factors that contribute to learning differences.
Learning differences are caused by something affecting the development of the brain. This may occur prior to birth, during birth, or in early childhood.
Learning differences are often misunderstood. It’s important to remember that learning differences are not related to an individual’s overall intelligence. This is a common myth that creates a negative stigma and additional social difficulties for students. Building awareness and knowledge is the first step in supporting those with learning differences.
The more we understand how the brain processes information, the better we can adapt and find ways to overcome any challenges associated with differences.
Common ways to support individuals with learning differences are by creating daily routines, providing explicit instructions and explanations, creating individual learning experiences, and by creating an inclusive environment.
Edge Fearless Learning programs help “re-train the brain” using proven multisensory literacy and math methods that allow students to hear, see, and touch letters and numbers to improve reading and math scores. Our evidence-based approaches combined with our culture of support makes this an ideal place for students with many types of learning differences and styles.
Learning differences aren’t always obvious. All children learn at different rates, making it difficult to compare the progress of one child versus another. If you identify any of these signs in your child, seek out help from an Edge Fearless Learning expert for an evaluation:
Early identification of a learning difference is the key component necessary to help students achieve academic success and have a thriving future.
Nobody should have to experience being left behind in school. Every learner should be celebrated for their unique strengths and supported to individual successes.
Studying harder or spending more time working the same way only adds to the problem. Don’t waste time struggling when we’re here to help.
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