Orange County Learning Disabilities Association

Introduction to Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities are a complex syndrome affecting more than 15 percent of the nation's population. Because they are an "invisible handicap," it is difficult for many people to accept that the syndrome even exists. Yet a person with average to above average intelligence may have difficulty learning and/or behaving specifically because he/she suffers from some aspect of learning disabilities. Individuals with IQs from 70 to 170 can have some problem with speaking, reading, writing, comprehension, reasoning, math skills and/or social skills that interfere with the ability to learn and/or behave. Each individual will have his/her own unique profile of disorders. The terms ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, aphasia, minimal brain dysfunction, and sensory deficit also refer to some aspects of learning disabilities. Currently many individuals on the "autism spectrum" consider autism to be the most severe of the learning disabilities. This web site will use a unique integrated theoretical model to define the various parts of the syndrome. It is a four-step model. When the 1) neurobiology dysfunctions, 2) sensory and perceptual systems distort, 3) disturbing the ability to acquire and use language and communication skills, 4) making learning difficult. Therefore, it is important that any professional diagnosing these disorders have a broad knowledge of the entire field.

The Orange County Learning Disabilities Association is also concerned with children who have difficulty in school because of their learning style. Because the construct of every brain is different in a few or in many aspects, and processes information in different ways, there is no "right" way to learn to read, write and calculate. Each child has his/her own way of learning. This may be because the brain is wired in an unusual manner but is not dysfunctional. This unusual wiring may help the individual have unique insights into creative thinking and problem solving. These individuals may think best "outside the box." They may not know how they were able to come to some answers; they just know what is the right answer. These kinds of learners do not have learning disabilities but can become disabled because teachers are unable to understand or accept the unusual learner.