Learning difficulties and Specific Learning Disorders

Leaning disorder is a neurodevelopmental issue and educational progress may be limited despite additional support from home or school.

Learning disorders begin in early developmental stages before formal schooling and is a neurodevelopmental issue that would impair individual, social, educational, and occupational functioning. The scope and extent of developmental delay varies by individual and can be accompanied by comorbid disorders such as ADHD, ASD, and intellectual disorder.


Specific learning disorders are diagnosed when a child has difficulties perceiving and processing information efficiently and accurately. This usually means there are continuous issues in acquiring basic learning skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, and that there has been a minimum of 6 months’ delay in learning progress despite additional support from home or school.


Students with learning difficulties display significantly lower learning abilities than do those of their peers. However, unlike intellectual disorders, learning difficulties can be found in students who have high level of intelligence. Learning disorders are found among 5-15% of children and 4% of adults across cultures and language environments.


In order to diagnose specific learning disorders, culturally appropriate psycho-educational assessment should be administered. Particularly for children and adolescents, a professional in the field of bilingual psycho-educational assessment must perform the assessment with scientifically valid assessment tools. Because diagnosis of learning difficulties can justify school- or community-level provision of special education or treatment services in English-speaking schools, learning difficulties must be evaluated using English psycho-educational assessments. In case where language transfer issues have not been resolved despite a long time has passed since trying to transfer from the Korean language environment to the English one, treatments for second language transfer delay should accompany focused psycho-educational programs.


Sub-categories of specific learning disorder are as follow:


Reading disorder


– Inaccurate pronunciation and/or low speed and stutter; speculative reading, and difficulties in reading aloud

– Difficulty comprehending the content of the text that has just been read and the abstract concepts or in-depth meaning of the text, involving chronological orders or relationships.


Writing disorder


– Frequent spelling errors,addition/omission/replacement of vowels or consonants.

– Difficulty in writing with multiple grammatical and punctuation errors in a single sentence.

– Poor sentence structure, low clarity in written expression of thoughts.


Math disorder


– Difficulty with simple arithmetic calculations, understanding calculation steps involved or number sense, and grasping the magnitude of numbers and the relationship between numbers.

– Difficulty in mathematical inference and applying mathematical concepts or calculated values and/or formulae.

Please contact us if your child is currently experiencing any of the symptoms above.

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Seoul, Republic of Korea



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