Learning Disabilities Vs Learning Difficulties

Even though people often get mixed up between the two terms, learning disabilities and learning difficulties, they are quite different. It is quite difficult to get the correct care if people think you have one of these issues but you actually have the other one. So, we will now clarify these two terms in this article about disability news.

Persons that have a learning disability basically have a condition where their overall intelligence and ability to learn is affected in all areas of their lives. Persons who have a learning difficulty on the other hand have issues with one or a a few types of learning but this doesn’t negatively impact their intelligence and IQ. So, to make this even clearer, a person who has Downs Syndrome has a learning disability. This is because this condition would negatively impact the person’s entire life and not just one or a few areas.

A person who has dyslexia would be seen as someone who has a learning difficulty. This is due to the fact that it only negatively impacts a couple of areas in their life and it doesn’t affect other parts of their life and intelligence. So, a person who has dyslexia would have issues being able to read or write words as well as spell accurately. However, they can still function quite well in the world and they would not require care for this condition.

Mental Health

Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t know the difference between mental health disorders and learning disabilities. Even though a person may have a learning disability, this doesn’t mean that they have a mental disorder, even though they can have a this in addition to their learning disability. A learning disability is not the same as a mental health condition. People who have learning disabilities are usually born with it or it develops when they are children. Learning disabilities are also permanent. On the other hand, mental health conditions can develop at any point in a persons life and it is possible for them disappear.

The treatment plan for a person with a mental health condition is also completely different than the treatment for a person with a learning disability. Persons with learning disabilities would need support as oppose to medical treatment in order to have fulfilling lives. A person with a mental health condition would need a combination of psychiatric drugs and counselling/psychotherapy for effective treatment.

Learning disabilities require specialised care that is custom made to each person. This type of care needs to be based on that person’s particular wants and desires so that they can be empowered to live life as they please.

Learning disabilities come in different levels of severity and they include severe, moderate and mild.

People who only have a mild learning disability can easily take care of themselves and they will only take a little extra time in order to learn new skills. However, people with moderate or severe learning disabilities would have more issues learning and communicating and it is possible that they may have even more disabilities.

There are persons who can live on their own even if they have a learning disability. Unfortunately, there are also other persons who can’t live independently since they would need assistance with simple tasks such as eating, getting dressed etc for the rest of their lives. So, the amount of care a person requires would depend on the severity of their disability.

When it comes to young children with learning disabilities, they would require special educational needs.

Learning Disability Causes

As mentioned previously, learning disabilities can occur during pregnancy, birth and childhood. Some of the known causes are:

  • Specific childhood illnesses like meningitis
  • Childhood injuries
  • Illness during pregnancy
  • Inherited learning disabilities that were passed on through genes from the parents
  • Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during birth
  • Unknown causes

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