Learning disability

A syndrome affecting school age children of normal or above normal intelligence characterized by specific difficulties in learning to read (dyslexia), write (dysgraphia), and calculate (dyscalculia). The disorder is believed to be related to slow develop- mental progression of perceptual motor skills.

Any of several abnormal conditions of children and adults who, although having at least average intelligence, have difficulty in learning specific skills, e.g., reading (dyslexia) or writing (dysgraphia) or have other problems associated with normal learning procedures. It may result from psychological or organic causes or from slow development of motor skills, but in many cases the cause is unknown.

Learning disability, previously called mental handicap, is a problem of markedly low intellectual functioning. In general, people with learning disability want to be seen as themselves; to learn new skills; to choose where to live; to have good health care; to have girlfriends or boyfriends; to make decisions about their lives; and to have adequate finances. They may live at home with their families, or in small residential units with access to work and leisure and to other people in ordinary communities. Some people with learning disabilities, however, also have a mental illness. Most can be treated as outpatients, but a few need more intensive inpatient treatment, and a very small minority with disturbed behaviour need secure (i.e. locked) settings.