What are Specific Learning Difficulties ?

What are Specific Learning Difficulties ?

Specific Learning Difficulties are neurological deficits.

They have significant impact on education, on learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.

They are separate issues to intelligence. They reflect the way a person's brain is 'wired'.

Our brains have 'neural plasticity', which is how we learn and integrate new knowledge.

Therefore; there is scope for a brain to be trained/ re-trained to better function!

An indicative list of Specific Learning Difficulties includes;

  • Dyslexia - a weakness in whole word reading or writing
                        Dyseidesia           (Visual Dyslexia - a weakness in Visual Recall for Rapid Automatized Naming)
                        Dysphonesia       (Auditory Dyslexia - a weakness in hearing  letter/ word sounds)
                        Dysphoneidesia  (Visual-Auditory Dyslexia - a mix of the above weaknesses) 
  • Dyspraxia - a weakness of cerebellar control or timing for motor movements
                         OculoMotor Dysfunction               - errors in planned eye-movements for reading
                         Convergence Insufficiency            - unable to converge to reading range
                         Convergence Infacility                   - unable to sustain convergence
                         Neurological Timing Dysfunction  - errors in timing causing poor data stream
  • Dyscalculia - a weakness in Visual Recall and/or Visual Perceptual manipulation of spatial measurements and units
                         (length, volume, area, quantity)
  • Dysgraphia - a weakness in Visual Recall of word shapes and their reproduction on paper

It can be seen from the above list, that it is common to most of the Specific Learning Disabilities that they are weaknesses in Visual Perception.

That is why we target them through Visual Perceptual strategies and therapies.

Some common characteristics seen in people with Specific Learning Difficulties;

  • Visual processing difficulties.
  • Time management difficulties.
  • Sensory distraction: an inability to screen out extraneous visual or auditory stimuli.
  • Sensory overload: a heightened sensitivity to visual stimuli and sound; (Visual Stress) an inability to cope with busy environments or cluttered pages of text
  • Stress; (Fight, Flight, Fear or Freeze reactions)
  • Auditory processing difficulties.
  • Organizational difficulties.
  • Sequential planning difficulties
  • Memory difficulties.
  • Writing difficulties.
  • Reading difficulties.

This list also reveals the common thread of Visual Perceptual deficits, and their disruptive impact on learning.

At VisionLink we work on Stress management, Neurological timing, Praxia, Visualization, Visual efficiency for acuity and edge detection at near and far.