Difference Between Learning Disability and Learning Difficulty

Learning Disability vs Learning Difficulty
 

Although the two terms, learning disability and learning difficulty are often used interchangeably, these refer to two conditions that have a subtle difference between them. At certain situations, the difference between the two conditions can be difficult to recognize. First, let us define the two words. A learning difficulty is a problem that the individual faces in learning. On the other hand, a learning disability can be considered as a condition that emerges during the childhood of an individual, where the individual has difficulty in understanding information, learning and communicating. Unlike a learning difficulty, a learning disability affects the learning process and the ability that an individual has in coping independently in daily life. This is the difference between a learning disability and a learning difficulty. Through this article let us examine this difference in more detail.

What is a Learning Difficulty?

A learning difficulty is a problem that an individual faces in learning. This creates a barrier between the child and a specific skill set, making the child unable to learn it. Some of the common learning difficulties are Dyslexia (difficulty in reading), Dyscalculia (difficulty in calculations), and Dysgraphia (difficulty in writing).

Learning difficulties can arise due to various factors. They are environmental factors, intellectual disability, emotional difficulties, physical deficits, behavioral difficulties, and even sensory deficits. For instance, if the child suffers from an intellectual disability, this will clearly impact his learning. However, there can be instances where the learning difficulties emerge due to the lack of proper guidance and instructions on the part of the teachers as well. If the child has difficulty in concentration also, learning can be rather difficult. It is important to bear in mind that learning difficulties can arise due to certain learning disabilities.

Difference Between Learning Disability and Learning Difficulty

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty

What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability can be defined as problems encountered by an individual in learning, communicating and processing information. The key difference between a learning disability and a learning difficulty is that while a learning difficulty mostly affects the learning of the child within the school premises, learning disabilities go beyond this. They often affect the entire life of the individual where he or she would need the assistance of another and cannot cope alone. In most cases, this can denote lower IQ as well. Here are some common learning disabilities.

Down’s Syndrome

ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder

Spina Bifida

 Learning Disability vs Learning Difficulty

Down’s syndrome is a learning disability

What is the difference between Learning Disability and Learning Difficulty?

• Definitions of Learning Disability and Learning Difficulty:

• A learning disability can be considered as a condition that emerges during the childhood of an individual, where the individual has difficulty in understanding information, learning, and communicating.

• A learning difficulty is a problem that the individual faces in learning.

• Usage:

• In some countries, both learning disability and learning difficulty are used interchangeably.

• Effect:

• Unlike learning difficulty, learning disability affects the learning process and the ability that an individual has in coping independently in daily life.

• Connection:

• Some learning disabilities can lead to learning difficulties.

• IQ:

• An individual who suffers from a learning disability may have a lower IQ, unlike an individual who suffers from a learning difficulty.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Nurse Reading to a Little Girl (1895), pastel via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Boy with down syndrome by Vanellus Foto (CC BY-SA 3.0)