Symptoms of Learning Disabilities

Student working on school writing, working on an assignmentThe symptoms of learning disabilities are a diverse set of characteristics which affect development and achievement.

Some of these symptoms can be found in all children at some time during their development. However, a person with learning disabilities has a cluster of these symptoms which do not disappear as s/he grows older.

Most frequently displayed symptoms:

  • short attention span,
  • poor memory,
  • difficulty following directions,
  • inability to discriminate between/among letters, numerals, or sounds,
  • poor reading and/or writing ability,
  • eye-hand coordination problems; poorly coordinated,
  • difficulties with sequencing, and/or
  • disorganization and other sensory difficulties.

Other characteristics that may be present:

  • performs differently from day to day,
  • responds inappropriately in many instances,
  • distractible, restless, impulsive,
  • says one thing, means another,
  • difficult to discipline,
  • doesn’t adjust well to change,
  • difficulty listening and remembering,
  • difficulty telling time and knowing right from left,
  • difficulty sounding out words,
  • reverses letters,
  • places letters in incorrect sequence,
  • difficulty understanding words or concepts, and/or
  • delayed speech development; immature speech.
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  1. Joshua Phelps says:

    Be strong guys I know you can do this I’m 43 years old and I have ADHD with dyslexia and a reading comprehension disorder in order for me to learn I watch videos on YouTube we didn’t have programs like this in the 90s when I was young be glad you guys have this now and people that care

  2. I am a mother with two adult daughters ages 26 and 28 yrs. old. My 26 yr. old has a documented learning disability with cognitive impairment, needs help with ADL’S AND IADL’S , is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Mild Major Depresssive Disorder, Recurring Episode. My 28 year old tries to help her as much as possible with herself and her sister yet gets frustrated I think, because she doesn’t know how to help her and yet help herself. She has no income (oldest daughter) and has other barriers she faces to secure employment and isn’t eligible for social services in NJ where they live. I have reason to believe that she may have a LDA as well and have felt this way for most of her adult life when the signs became apparent to me, yet, she won’t take the steps to get tested because she’s afraid partly, and the other part, she keeps telling herself nothings wrong. What can I do to help them both since they don’t live with me??

    • LDA of America says:

      Since both daughters are adults, you can look for resources that might be helpful – which you are obviously doing – but know that the decision to follow through on checking out the resources is ultimately their decision. One good resource might be for them both to contact their local Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) office. VR is an agency that helps people with disabilities find employment, and they can also provide diagnostic tests to determine the extent of any disabilities, and work with the person to find a good job match. You can find information about VR at

  3. Lovey Ramos says:

    My 17 year old son studying in the A levels, spends hours and hours glaring at his subject content on the screen but when asked to assess his progress on a worksheet , he simply backs off and makes several excuses. the result is ;he is unable to attempt most questions in a class test. He hates to be tested.
    Is this a learning difficulty?

  4. Gabe snow says:

    I’m 37 yrs. Old and I’m trying to go back to collage to become a elementary school teacher, it’s been about 20 yrs. Since I graduated high school., The curriculum is tough ., I fill like I’m not smart enough….HELP!!!!

    • LDA of America says:

      Most colleges have support services available for all students. Any of your professors should be able to direct you to that office. Another method could be for you to secure study groups for difficult subjects. If you are having difficulty, chances are that other students are as well. Today, many assistive technology devices and applications are available to assist students with learning. You may want to take a study skills course that will teach you how to use assistive technology and provide a variety of different learning strategies.

    • Dina S Morris says:

      Good evening Gabe, don’t feel ashame and left out because I am 55-years-old and have completed two-bachelors and two- masters degrees. i am studying for my CSET exams for California. I graduated in the early 80’s. I also need to take Arizonia’s professional Knowledge exam for my Elementary Credentials. To me, the exams require many hours of studying. Gabe, do not doubt or belittle yourself because I did so well as where I had students asking the instructors/professors to be in my group. gabe, you would not believe it but I did not do well in high school but made Cuma Sum Laude in my bachelors and a 3.60 in my master’s program. I was determined to excell and I did just that. It was the motivation and pep talk from various instructors. I took two business administration and one-criminal law class and my instructors were amazed on what I brought to the discussion boards as well as group project and individual papers. Gabe, don’t let a syllabus and the type of educational class you will be taking cause you to doubt. Don’t freeze-up, just be you. Following the directions/instructions will help you to make the grade as well as information input to the discussion boards and group projects. have faith! God will see you through. This is how I excelled and made it through with much prayer, fasting , and reading the word og God from the King James version.

  5. Rin isn’t my real name so I’m just gonna let out what I need to say.
    I have a learning disability and my family doesn’t even know what it is or how to deal with a child/ sibling who has a learning disability. They just brush it off and make it sound like its my problem and it creates them trouble. I developed it during my elementary year and I couldn’t never bring it up to anybody, classmates or family because I’m always afraid that I’m going to get looked down upon and get bullied. I’m 25 still having problems on finding employment and school. I’m in community college and a part of the DSPS program. The sad thing is that my family and couple of my friends still don’t know what it is and they brush it off. I felt so alone that I don’t even have someone to talk too about my disability.

    • LDA of America says:

      I suggest speaking with someone in the college Disability Services Office to see if they would suggest another student with a disabiity who would be a peer mentor for you. This would allow you to discuss your issues with someone who experiences similar challenges. Another idea is to obtain a coach, like a life / educational coach, to assist with addressing issues. It would also be helpful for you to meet with someone in the college’s Counseling Center . The best way for other people in your life to understand you is to be educated and understand that you are not faking or making up this disability. One way is to provide a simulation of your learning disability to your family members through the Understand website link

  6. Hey I’m Ben I’m 21 i suffer from a LD also
    I didn’t know i had it as a child i struggled with school and with socializing or making friends i was constantly bullied for being different or not understanding anything like everybody else did it frustrated the hell out of me some days
    Still does but i try my best just to get through it
    I’ve started a new job now and I’m doing okay at it but some days it does get the better of me
    But not much i can do

    • Hey Ben, I really relate to what you’re saying and as sorry as I am that you went through that hardship I appreciate you sharing your experience because it’s super validating to hear. Like me, do you have your special talents that you really excell at but then faced with your biggest weakness, you appear and feel useless and incompetent as though you can’t even be trusted to pack a box properly? I especially hate those embarrassing moments – anything to do with math, spatial sense, even things like uni course selection – when things just don’t compute and people look at me (or at least I perceive them to) as though they are asking, “are you really this stupid?” My talent is art and sculpting so lately I’ve been keeping pictures of my work on my phone so that when I feel this way I can remind myself that I’m not good for nothing. I can’t [blank] but I can SCULPT. It sounds silly but it helps me get through those days. A small strategy like that can go a long way and a combination of many is how we will succeed. Hang in there! I hope your new job goes well. Crush it for the team!

    • Vanessa Williamson says:

      My daughter has a underlined learning disability and the also said she has features of adhd but when I called the paediatric secretary she says she does have it I’m confused

  7. It pains me to read the symptoms. My son is in first grade the school complains a lot and have reffered him to occupational therapist….the test is two days from now i can’t even sleep at night i already see symptoms in him but indenial


  1. […] Most of the learning disabilities can be treated through proper testing and training. It is not easy always to identify the symptoms of learning disability. […]

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