Learning Disabilities Prevention, Symptoms And Risk Factors


A learning impairment (LD) is a chronic neurological condition that can range in severity from mild to severe. It impairs a person's capacity to talk, listen, read, write, or perform math and restricts the brain's capacity to retain, process, and generate information. Despite having IQ that ranges from normal to above average, a child with a learning problem significantly underperforms academically. 

A 20% prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is found in children with learning difficulties (ADHD). Youngsters who struggle with learning may get discouraged, lose interest in learning, and shy away from problems. They could struggle with emotional issues including withdrawal, anxiety, sadness, or hostility as well as low self-esteem. Children with learning difficulties sometimes struggle with social issues as well. Untreated learning difficulties can cause children to lose their temper and get upset. Emotional issues may result from these sentiments.

One of the most prevalent types of learning disabilities is dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language-based problem that frequently impacts handwriting in addition to reading, writing, and spelling. Despite the fact that letter or word reversals may be concerning for kids with dyslexia, they are not the main indicators of the condition.

A person's capacity to learn new things throughout their life is impacted by a learning impairment. Everyone with a learning impairment is unique. Each person is unique.

An individual with a learning impairment could struggle with:

  • Comprehension of complex information
  • Acquiring new abilities
  • Taking care of oneself or living alone


Learning disorders are not brought on by conditions like blindness, impaired vision, hearing loss, physical or movement limitations, etc. Similar to intellectual impairments, autistic spectrum disorders, and low intelligence quotient (IQ) may all be linked to learning challenges but are not recognised as learning disabilities. Although they may accompany learning problems, environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages do not cause learning difficulties. Similar to learning difficulties, emotional or behavioural issues may coexist with them.

There are situations when a learning issue's root cause is unknown. Occasionally it happens when a person's brain development is compromised, either before birth, during labour, or in the early years of life.

This may be brought on by factors like:

  • The unborn child inherits genes from its parents that increase the likelihood that it will have a learning disability illness, like meningitis, or injury in early childhood
  • The mother became ill during pregnancy birth-related issues that prevent enough oxygen from getting to the brain the unborn child becoming ill during pregnancy
  • A learning handicap may be more prevalent in certain medical conditions.
  • Every person with Down's syndrome, for instance, as well as many cerebral palsy sufferers, has some degree of learning difficulty.
  • Both those who have epilepsy and many autistic individuals also struggle with learning disabilities.

Risk Factors

Family history is the main risk factor. Poor nutrition, serious brain traumas, child maltreatment, and pregnancy-related conditions are other less prevalent risk factors. Moreover, lead poisoning, diseases of the central nervous system, and cancer therapies like leukaemia might increase the likelihood of learning issues.


The following indicators might point to a child's learning disability:

  • Lack of interest in or trouble with reading
  • Poor maths skills, trouble arranging their thoughts to articulate what they want to say, and poor handwriting
  • Memory issues
  • Coordination issues 
  • Language issues, such as having trouble memorizing words, rhyming, and expressing oneself
  • Problem with reasoning 
  • Problem with the spelling
  • History of speech delays

Early indications of dyslexia consist of:

  • A lag in the speaking fluency
  • Finding the proper term is difficult
  • Have trouble making rhymes
  • Short-term auditory memory problems
  • Subtle pronunciation errors, especially when it comes to terms with more than one syllable

During a child's start in school, the following dyslexia symptoms might manifest:

  • Having trouble learning the names of the alphabet's letters
  • Having trouble learning how to write the alphabet's letters
  • Learning whole words for spelling and reading might be challenging.
  • Inability to use phonics
  • Comprehension issues brought on by trouble reading words


Education is used to address learning problems, ideally with early intervention. To assist a youngster to overcome their learning challenges, an educational professional can teach them effective learning practices. To enhance growth, private instruction may also be advantageous. Repeating a grade is often not advised and may have negative long-term effects.

Psychological treatment may be advantageous for both children and their families. Children with learning difficulties require empathy and emotional support in order to feel confident in themselves. It is also crucial to provide children with chances to succeed in areas where they may excel. Lastly, at certain times, children with learning difficulties have issues with peer connections, and therapy to assist them to develop their social skills may be helpful.

Medical treatment for learning difficulties is not available, however, medication may be helpful for children with learning disabilities who have a co-occurring illness like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As part of their general medical care, doctors should monitor their patients' academic development.

Complications of Learning Disability

Children with learning difficulties cannot outgrow them, but they can learn to adapt and strengthen their poor capabilities. Children with learning disabilities are more likely to learn to overcome their challenges while having a good self-image if they are diagnosed and treated early. Also, they can learn to build on their personal abilities and grow up to be extremely successful and productive people.

Parents should see to it that their child receives assistance for any learning difficulties. Also, they need to keep an eye on the child's growth to ensure that skills are improving in a sufficient manner. Parents should encourage contact between the child's doctor, school staff, and outside professionals. It is crucial for parents to create a learning-friendly environment in their homes.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023

Next review due: Mar 16, 2025

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