Learning disabilities are generally one or more learning difficulties experienced by a person with good intelligence. There are learning disabilities related to attention, perception (visual and auditory), memory (short and long term), written and academic language, movement, development, speech, information processing and executive functions.
In our classrooms, these disorders are identified from learning difficulties. Knowing how to distinguish between learning disabilities and learning disabilities is essential to better understanding students' problems and discerning their causes. However, the boundary between these two realities is sometimes difficult to establish, especially among college students. The following comparative table presents some basic distinctions between learning disabilities and learning difficulties.
|Learning Disabilities||Learning difficulties|
| • They are permanent.
• They appear early in learning.
• Their cause is unique: neurological • They cause, in the case of dyslexia or dysorthography:
- a major difficulty in integrating basic process allowing the comprehension ;
- an incapacity to automate the correspondence letters-sounds, to be read at from the visual form of the words and to retrieve the pronunciation associated with words.
• They can be diagnosed by a speech therapist, a neuropsychologist or a remedial teacher.
| • They are often temporary and can
sometimes be corrected.
• They can appear at different stages of learning.
• The causes are multiple and not neurological:
- incomplete learning in reading or writing;
- problems of working method;
- psychoaffective disorder,
lack of motivation or interest;
- difficult socio-economic situation.
Note that learning disabilities are a real handicap for students in their schooling and it is difficult to eliminate these disorders, while learning difficulties are often temporary and can generally be overcome.
|Attention disorders||Visual perception disorders||Verbal memory disorders||Speech disorders|
| Attention disorders occur in people who have difficulty managing the mechanisms of their attention. These people will be easily distracted by the noises and movements around them. They have trouble getting organized, forgetting what they were doing and misplacing their belongings.
Here are some of the attention disorders in students facing teachers:
- The student is easy to distract;
- The student has difficulty listening;
- The student lacks concentration and has difficulty sustaining his attention; - The student forgets quickly;
- The student often loses his equipment;
- The student has trouble getting organized;
- The student has trouble doing all his homework;
Solutions exist to correct or mitigate these disorders in students.
| Visual perception is a set of processes that analyze what the eye sees. There is:
a) Visuo-motor coordination:
• It coordinates the action of the hand with the eye to perform smooth movements. It is therefore necessary for writing and reading.
b) The perception figure / bottom:
• It is the ability to abstract a set of elements to focus on one. For example, the child focuses on the ball while running but perceives the other elements of the park to avoid them.
• A child who has difficulty at this level is often disorganized because his attention will be drawn to several stimuli at a time. For example, the child is unable to find his belongings even though they are in front of him.
It may be difficult to find information in a table of contents, a word in the dictionary, skip lines or entire pages, have trouble solving a problem if the page is too full of information , having difficulty in sports, etc. c) Position in space:
• It is the ability to give the exact position of an object or to find in a set of similar figures that which has the same position. Solutions exist to correct or mitigate these disorders in students.
| There are two types of verbal memory:
• The verbal working memory holds the information for about 30 seconds. It is very useful for keeping the instructions, the beginning of a word while we read the rest, etc.
It's a memory that can be in trouble if the person has a problem of attention.
• Long-term verbal memory: There are three processes involved in the functioning of this memory:
1) Encoding: The information enters memory.
2) Consolidation: The information entered in memory remains there even after a certain time.
3) Recovery: We can go in memory of what went into it.
When a person has a long-term verbal memory disorder, adaptations will be made to help deal with the process that is not working well.
| Speech and language problems are called speech disorders.
However, we must distinguish minor and major disorders, which do not require the same type of speech therapy.
The former are perfectly normal in children who learn to speak; On the other hand, if they persist after the age of 5 or 6, it is necessary to treat them before entering primary school.
Only a report made by a professional makes it possible to make a diagnosis on the speech disorder that suffers from his patient of which there are several.