Learning disability or learning difficulty?


These terms are often confused. You might even have seen them used interchangeably.

While it’s not always helpful to label, the short answer is that when we talk about a learning difficulty, we’re often talking about a condition in an educational context. Learning difficulties can make processing information more difficult in certain circumstances.

It’s important to remember that every individual is affected differently by their condition, and will need different support.

In this section, we’ve provided overviews of some conditions commonly classed as learning difficulties.

  • Dyslexia

    Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that causes difficulties with reading, writing and spelling, and is usually diagnosed when children start school.
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  • ADHD

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the name given to a group of behaviours which include hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
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  • Dyscalculia

    Developmental Dyscalculia' is sometimes described as ‘maths dyslexia’, and makes processing numbers and carrying out calculations difficult.
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  • Dysgraphia

    Dysgraphia is a condition that affects the ability to recognise written words, and the relationship between letter forms and the sounds they make.
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  • Dyspraxia

    Dyspraxia is a form of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) affecting motor coordination in children and adults, often occurring alongside dyslexia.
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