Facts About Learning Disabilities

• A student with a Learning Disability generally has average to above average intellectual potential.

• A Learning Disability is something that people are born with--they do nothing to cause it.

• People do not grow out of a Learning Disability. Appropriate instruction is needed for success with reading, writing, spelling, math, and the other academic subjects.

• If a person has a Learning Disability, there is nothing wrong with their brain. The person simply learns subjects by a different method.

• Learning Disabilities are not contagious. It is now generally believed that Learning Disabilities are genetically-based and tend to occur in families.

• Learning Disabilities affect each person differently.

• Many famous people, like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, are believed to have had Learning Disabilities.

• A student with a Learning Disability can succeed in college. They may need some support and accommodations, but can be successful with higher education.

• Most important: Students with Learning Disabilities are not stupid. They experience failure because the wrong learning strategies were used. Once the proper methods are used, they can be successful with academics.

Characteristics of College Students with Learning Disabilities

Students with Learning Disabilities have average to above average intelligence, but they learn differently from other students. They may do well in most areas but have some that are way below their overall ability level. 

Some typical characteristics of college students with Learning Disabilities are listed below. Of course, no student has all of these problems.

• Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multi-syllable words.
• Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task.
• Difficulty with comprehension and retention of material that is read, but not with material presented orally.



• Difficulty with sentence structure, difficulty with grammar, omitted words.
• Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals.
• Difficulty copying from the board or overhead.
• Poorly formed letters, difficulty with spacing, capitals, and punctuation.


Oral Language

• Difficulty attending to spoken language, inconsistent concentration.
• Difficulty expressing ideas orally which the student seems to understand.
• Problems describing events or stories in proper sequence.



• Difficulty memorizing basic math facts.
• Confusion or reversal of numbers or operational symbols.
• Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns.
• Difficulty reading or comprehending basic word problems.
• Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts.


Study Skills

• Difficulty with organization and time management.
• Difficulty following directions.
• Poor organization for notes and other written materials.
• Needs more time to complete assignments.