Learning disorders begin in early developmental stages before formal schooling. It is a neurodevelopmental issue that would impair individual, social, educational, and occupational functioning. The scope and extent of developmental delay varies by individual and it 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 disorders display significantly poorer learning behavior than their peers. However, unlike intellectual disorders, learning disorders can be found in students who have high levels 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 the 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.
Treatments for second language transfer delay should accompany psycho-educational programs, in case the language transfer issues are not resolved, especially if a long time has passed since the language environment has changed.
Sub-categories of specific learning disorder are as follow:
– Reading disorder
o Inaccurate pronunciation and/or low speed and stutter; speculative reading, and difficulties in reading aloud
o 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
o Frequent spelling errors, addition/omission/replacement of vowels or consonants.
o Difficulty in writing with multiple grammatical and punctuation errors in a single sentence.
o Poor sentence structure, low clarity in written expression of thoughts.
– Math disorder
o Difficulty with simple arithmetic calculations, understanding calculation steps involved or number sense, and grasping the magnitude of numbers and the relationship between numbers.
o Difficulty in mathematical inference and applying mathematical concepts or calculated values and/or formulae.