Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities (LD) are real and affect two to three children in every classroom in Australia.  There are seven types of LD with various areas and symptoms.  They are ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dysgraphia, and Dyspraxia.  Each of these disorders affect the individual's ability to listen, write, spell, speak, process math and reasoning. The areas being affected are different for each LD.  ADD/ADHD affects concentration and focus which results in over-activity, impulsivity and distractibility.  The typical ADD/ADHD leads to not being able to sit still, daydream, and lose interest quickly.  Dyslexia affects language processing which results in poor skills in reading, writing and spelling.  Visual Processing Disorder brings about inadequate skills in interpreting visual information and affects math, reading and writing.  Dyscalculia proves to inhibit math skills.  Poor math skills symptoms result in difficulty in computation, concepts of time and money, and  memorizing math facts.   Auditory Processing Disorder shows up as difficulty in anticipating how a speaker will end a sentence.  This affects reading and language development, and interpreting auditory information.   Dysgraphia is the LD that affects written language.  This will show up as low scores in composition, writing skills and poor hand writing.   Dyspraxia shows up with poor motor skills making it difficult to learn how to write, use scissors, buttons and drawing.  LD students usually have average to above average intelligence.  However, the LD sets them back if proper training, medication, or assistance is not introduced at an early age.  The LD will not go away with time and the individual will experience the symptoms and challenges throughout their lifetime.  A careful and thorough examination of the symptoms must be done to determine which LD is present.  This can be done by parents, educators, physicians, speech-language therapists, psychologists, and the individuals themselves.  It's important to work as a team not only to diagnosis but to treat as well. Experts are not sure exactly what causes LD's.  However, the LD might be caused by heredity, problems during or after birth, head injuries, exposure to toxins, or poor nutrition.  It's important to diagnose early in life.  The younger the child is diagnosed the better the chance of getting assistance early and improvements made resulting in a better student.  Effective treatment and/or medications will result in a child who improves in following directions, attention span and memory.
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