Although the terms “learning disability” and “learning difficulty” sound more or less interchangeable to the casual listener, there a great difference in the experiences of individuals who have to live with one or the other. Where the difference between difficulties and disabilities becomes truly important is in ensuring that people with these conditions receive the correct care from clarke mobility. Thus, it’s worth learning the difference for anyone with an interest in helping an individual who needs such care.
To put it simply, a learning disability is a condition that adversely affects all areas of intelligence. A learning difficulty is a condition that makes it difficult or impossible for an individual to learn in a specific way. With this distinction, it becomes easier to determine if specific conditions qualify as disabilities or difficulties. Downs Syndrome, for example, imposes a learning disability as its mental effects apply to every aspect of life, including IQ, physical health, and self-care skills.
In contrast, a condition like dyslexia would be considered a learning difficulty. While dyslexia impedes an individual’s ability to absorb written information, it does not present a full-spectrum challenge to an individual’s life skills. Although a person with dyslexia may have difficulty reading and writing, she would not require special care or support to engage in ordinary functions of life.
Distinguishing Between Learning Disabilities And Mental Health Problems
Unfortunately, learning disabilities are also often conflated with mental health issues. Although there are often overlaps between these two classes of conditions, there is not necessarily any cause-and-effect relationship between the two. Learning disabilities are permanent conditions that manifest themselves at birth or in early childhood. Mental health problems are far more transient. They can arise at any point in life and may not be permanent.
There is also an important difference between the appropriate treatments for individuals with mental health issues and those with learning disabilities. Mental health problems need to be addressed (and hopefully resolved) with therapeutic and pharmaceutical treatment. Learning disabilities, though, require ongoing support so that those experiencing them can live as happily and effectively as possible.
The appropriate care regimen for a person with learning disabilities absolutely must be tailored to the individual. Their specific needs must be seen to and their wishes must be respected. Individuals with learning disabilities should be empowered whenever possible so that they can exercise control over their care.
Learning Disability Severity
Broadly speaking, learning disabilities are classified as severe, moderate, or mild.
Mild learning disabilities may make it harder for individuals to acquire new skills and information but allow them to look after themselves and communicate with minimal support. More severe disabilities may make communication difficult or impossible and require much more extensive support.
Individuals with learning disabilities may develop into fully independent adults. Others may require assistance with basic tasks throughout their lives. The amount of support required depends on the individual’s specific disability, the abilities they develop, and the care they receive.
Younger people with learning disabilities may have special educational needs (SEN) in addition to their other care requirements.
Where Do Learning Disabilities Come From?
Learning disabilities stem from a disturbance in the development of an individual’s brain at some point before or shortly after birth. Potential causes for learning disabilities include:
* Illnesses suffered by the mother during pregnancy
* Birthing difficulties, particularly those that deprive the child’s brain of oxygen
* Inheritance of certain genes that increase the likelihood of learning disabilities
* Injuries or illnesses (e.g. meningitis) during early childhood.
Not all learning disabilities have an easily defined cause.