Learning difficulties: concept, theories and classification

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There are a number of linguistic factors, biological and social factors that can serve as well a learning disability. But when they are irrelevant, the child is considered normal by family members and teachers so that the first change observed is the difficulty to learn in school. The highest proportion of children diagnosed with learning disabilities is between 8 and 11 years.

Learning disabilities often occur associated. We did not find dysgraphic children, dyslexic or dyscalculic only, the most common is that certain aspects of each of these three difficulties occur in the same subject.

The child with learning difficulties is by all means avoid school work, parents and teachers need to be constantly on him to make them.

LD children are children with intellectual development next to normal, which may be deficient perceptive psychological field. Language development also is altered or delayed. The difficulty of learning is related to brain dysfunction, proven or not, acquired or congenital, although it is considered not to be primarily a sensory or motor deficits elementary. Nor is due to emotional deprivation or emotional imbalance. The learning difficulty increases with educational neglect and reduce your attention, so that these students should be re-education through special programs.

Myklebust (1967) proposed the ratio Learning (CA), to make more accurate diagnosis of AD. The CA is the result of dividing the reading age, multiplied by 100, by age expectantly. The age is calculated by adding expectant mental age, chronological age and age-grade and dividing by three.

Sullivan Palincsar (1997) states that learning disabilities have become the largest single category of dysfunction, following even the categories of language and speech disorders. 80% of subjects who have Special Education services are identified as individuals with reading problems. The classic procedure for determining whether an individual has learning difficulties in reading is the discrepancy between ability and performance.


The Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (NJCLO) said that the DA is like a patchwork of significant problems in learning reading, writing and arithmetic, intrinsic to the subject but can coexist with other problems.


The authors agree on five major criteria for exclusion (ie, what is not a DA):

  • Low IQ
  • sensory-motor deficiencies (vision, hearing, ...)
  • deficiencies in language acquisition.
  • Affective disorders
  • Educational deficiencies.

According to Ross (1977) is used only if an appropriate teaching method and has remained a valid educational relationship can be said that there is a difficulty in learning when a student does not yield enough homework. Following this author would have in the operational definition is considered the Performance Potential (RP) is a subject that shows when the process conditions are optimal.

Real Yield (RR) is an objective measure of Educational Achievement (ER) test taken from a pedagogical "intermediate step between an objective examination and a test of capacity, with educational content but with a form of response, with an objective assessment and construction carried out by psychological techniques. " Test results can be expressed as a ratio of performance or as an age or level of performance.

The NJCLO in 1981 proposed the following scientific and diagnostic definition:

"DA is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that manifest themselves in significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of language, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities. Are intrinsic to the individual and is considered to be due to dysfunction of central nervous system, although it may manifest itself with other deficient conditions.

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