Learning Disorders

(Also Known As: Learning Disability, Nonverbal Learning Disorders, Learning Disorder NOS, Cognitive Learning Disorders)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are Learning Disorders?

A learning disorder does not involve a problem with the intelligence quotient of a child. In fact, their IQ level falls within the normal range. Learning disorders stems from the brain. An individual suffering from this condition has difficulty processing sensory information that hampers their daily tasks at work or in school. They see, hear, and understand things in a different manner than most individuals 1.

When a child has a learning disorder, they experience difficulty exerting effort, paying close attention, or maintaining motivation on their own. They need the assistance of other people. This disorder is brought about by a problem in the nervous system, which has an impact on the way information is received, processed, or transmitted. There are several disorders that affect the method verbal and non-verbal information is acquired, understood, recalled, and expressed.

Types of Learning Disabilities

There are several skills that are affected by learning disabilities. They may include language or reasoning and calculation or motor skills. Learning disabilities can affect a child’s ability to learn. If left unattended, the frustrations and difficulties brought about by this disorder can lead to a stressful and difficult life.


  • Reading Disorder
  • Disorder of Written Expression

Calculating Skills

  • Mathematics Disorder

Motor Skills Disabilities

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder

Communication Deficiencies

  • Expressive Language Disorder
  • Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder
  • Phonological Disorder
  • Stuttering

It is worth noting that although a child may have considerable difficulty with their mathematical skills; this may not be true with their reading or writing skills. A popular learning disorder is dyslexia. Learning disorders exclude problems caused by difficulties in vision, coordination, hearing, or emotional disturbance 2.

Could You Have Learning Disorders?

Learning Disorders Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger’s Syndrome – autism, restricted social interaction
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity
Autism – impaired social interaction, impaired communication ability, Asperger’s Syndrome
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – delayed development in language, motor skills and social functions, autism, repetitive behavior
Mental Retardation – sub-average cognitive function, developmental delays, learning disorders
Rett’s Disorder – pervasive developmental disorder, cognitive impairment, regressing condition