What is and isn’t a learning disability (LD)? LD is more than a "difference" or "difficulty" with learning — it's a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. LD will vary in how it impacts each individual child, adolescent and adult. Understanding the basic facts will enable you to help yourself, your child, or someone you know to be a well-informed and effective advocate.
LD expert Dr. Sheldon Horowitz provides a general overview of specific learning disabilities and their impact on people with LD. He discusses the different types of LD, characteristics of specific LDs and how to think about them in the context of other kinds of disorders. More >
Our new e-book, 50 Questions About LD, is filled with answers to common LD questions. Topics include: how to deal with the “LD” label, RTI and working with your child’s school, the emotional impact of learning disabilities at school and home, preparing teens for college and work, and related issues like AD/HD and giftedness. More >
Learning disabilities (LDs) are real. They affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, respond to, and communicate information. LDs are actually a group of disorders, not a single disorder. Learning disabilities are not the same as intellectual disabilities (formerly known ... More >
What Are Learning Disabilities?
Learning disabilities (LD) are a group of varying disorders that have a negative impact on learning. They may affect one’s ability to speak, listen, think, read, write, spell or compute. The most prevalent LD is in the area of reading, known as d... More >
NCLD, with the State of Learning Disabilities, has published a critical report that will further the debate over how to strengthen the programs and policies we have in place to serve and protect students and adults with learning disabilities.
- Thomas H. Kean, NCLD Board Member and f... More >
Truth be told, learning disabilities (LD) are not easily explained. While they are “specific” to any number of areas of learning (such as reading, math, and writing) they are also often overlapping or co-occurring, meaning that individuals with LD can have significant challenges ... More >
Even though some three million school-age children are classified as having specific learning disabilities (LD), this category of special need is often widely misunderstood. Surveys of both parents and educators confirm that many people mistakenly link LD with mental retardation and ... More >
Learning disabilities (LD) – what they are (and what they are not) – continue to be a source of confusion for many people. Here are some key facts to keep in mind:
What Is a Learning Disability?
A learning disability is a biological "processing" problem that impairs a person'... More >
It happened again, this time on a train! A stalled train during my rush hour escape from the city redirected a flood of commuters onto the platform where I board my usual train in a relaxed and unhurried manner. The doors opened, a flurry of jockeying and shuffling toward open seats e... More >
The following is a transcription of the podcast, “Learning Disabilities Basics (audio).” In this podcast, NCLD’s Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, answers common questions on the basics of learning disabilities. Learn about how learning disabilities are identified and specific ways executi... More >
The specific learning disabilities (LD) category, dating back to its origin in the early 1960s, was built on the assumption that central nervous system dysfunction was the underlying cause of why these individuals struggled to achieve at levels commensurate with their peers. More tha... More >
We've Come a Long Way ... and We're Not There Yet!
In the early 1960s, the term "learning disabilities" was coined to describe a group of children who, despite normal intelligence, were having significant problems with learning. The difficulties experienced by these children were u... More >
Archived Index and Summaries of NJCLD Reports 2001-Present:
Adolescent Literacy and Older Students with Learning Disabilities (2008)This report describes the adolescent literacy problem (grades 4 to 12), its consequences, and contributing factors. Guiding principles for assessme... More >
In this podcast, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz answers three common questions about learning disabilities (LD):
Can you get a child’s learning disability to go away?
How do you deal with someone – a child, parent, or teacher -- who denies that anything is wrong, that the learning disa... More >
The following is a transcription of the podcast, "Learning Disabilities: Sorting Fact from Fiction (audio)." In this podcast, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz answers questions about some of the myths and facts connected to learning disabilities (LD). He also talks about key qualities shared by ... More >
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NCLD collected data from a random sampling of 1,980 adults in the United States, evenly distributed across males and females, via an online survey in August 2012. The sampling is representative of the U.S. population with a margin of error of 4.4 percent. Twelve... More >
The following is a transcription of the podcast, "Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Learning Disabilities (audio)." In this podcast, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz answers three common questions about learning disabilities (LD):
How can you get a child’s learning disability to ... More >
In this podcast, NCLD’s Dr. Sheldon Horowitz answers common questions on the basics of learning disabilities. Learn about how learning disabilities are identified and specific ways executive functioning and executive processing relate to learning disabilities.This is the first in a ... More >
TIn this podcast, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz answers questions about some of the myths and facts connected to learning disabilities (LD). He also talks about key qualities that successful individuals with LD have. And, learn how parents and educators can help students with LD to stay motiva... More >
Let’s get a few things on the table right up front. There is no shame in having a learning disability (LD). Learning disabilities are not the result of laziness or inadequate instruction. They are not the same as hearing or vision impairments and are not a mild form of intellectual ... More >
Sometimes, smart people believe dumb things. We are tricked into thinking that something is true because of slick advertising that includes pictures of the brain and lots of scientific words and medical jargon. We embrace ideas and therapies that feed into our beliefs, even when our i... More >
When it comes to specific learning disabilities, there are some things that we know for sure: they are real, they are not something that a person outgrows, and they are equal opportunity disorders, meaning that they affect males and females alike and don’t confine themselves to a pa... More >
There is an age old proverb that says “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” And today, we can take it even one step further and say that the eyes are windows to the mind, or perhaps more precisely, the brain. With some disorders, the eye literally allows physicians to peek at th... More >
There are some individuals who have receptive and expressive language difficulties that impact their learning and behavior. As young children, they struggle to “hear” the subtle differences between sounds in words and as they get older, they have trouble listening and understandin... More >
The World We Used to Live In
During the past few thousands of years, society has evolved in ways that are not always friendly to individuals who are in some ways "different" than their peers. Who got labeled as having disorders or disabilities has always been a consequence of a giv... More >
We know that that some individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and AD/HD have difficulties with fine and gross motor skills, and that targeted intervention and practice in such areas as handwriting, manipulating scissors and even running, jumping and bouncing a ball can result in ... More >
We reached out to our social media community and asked for their favorite LD-related book recommendations. A quick browse through this list will connect you with valuable information that can educate and inspire. If you have any other ideas, please add them to the comments below. And ... More >
Our eye-opening 2012 analysis on learning disabilities trends, facts, needs, challenges, and opportunities answers an array of LD-related questions, including:
What percentage of students is identified as having learning disabilities?
How are learning disabilities perceived in th... More >
LD AWAY: A Cure for Learning Disabilities and MoreIt’s time to celebrate because experts from around the world finally agree that a proven treatment for learning disabilities (LD) has been discovered. Never before has there been so powerful an approach to helping children achi... More >
Some people will believe just about anything... and that’s not a criticism, it’s just human nature. And parents of children who struggle with learning are no exception. In fact, they are likely to be more vulnerable to believing what they hear about promising treatments for learni... More >
A few weeks ago, I saw a half-page advertisement in a major national newspaper and my jaw dropped in amazement. It talked about a new “memory pill” that was safe (“nutritional supplement”) and that, through “biochemical coaxing” could “help restore depleted neurotransmit... More >
“Training-the-brain” is without question, a good thing to try to do… and we all do it all the time. Think about the first time you flipped an omelet… it got easier the more you practiced, right? And knotting a tie? How about learning to drive a car, or heading out on ice skate... More >
Check out these resources for more information about research in education and proven vs. controversial therapies. While many of these are intended for educators, they could be extremely helpful for parents as they gather information and hone their skills as informed and empowered dec... More >
Around my desk at work I have a few hand-written notes to myself that might also be good reminders for parents and others when they venture into the uncharted waters of complementary and alternative therapies.
Not everything that counts can be counted.
The plural of anecdote is no... More >
For anyone, learning a second or foreign language can be both exciting and terrifying. It’s exciting because it gives us the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another culture, but terrifying because everything is new and we often don’t know where to begin. While the... More >
Learning disabilities (LD) can be part of a “recipe for success,” not a “prescription for failure.” Case in point: The countless successful individuals with LDs like dyslexia and related issues like AD/HD. If you, your child, or your students have LD, you’re in good company.... More >
There are many misconceptions about learning disabilities (LD) that even the most well-intentioned parent might have, and it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. We’ve gathered some of the most common questions we receive to find out just how well you know your LD facts.H... More >
Do you ever wonder what it was like to raise—or teach—a child with a learning disability (LD) 20, 30 or even 50 years ago? Or perhaps you were you a child who struggled in school “back in the day” and only later learned that your difficulty had a name. Below is a snapshot of h... More >