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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Hi my name is Sara I’m 18 I’m a mother of 2 kids and I have a learning disability I no how bad that might sound a girl with a learning disability with 2 kids I no but I love my kids with all my heart and I’ll do anything for them but it’s hard for me being a mother and Haven this ld I don’t go to school I dropped out because of my problem I dropped out when I was like 15 and I have been having this probably since I was a kid I want to finish school and be a cosmetologist but I’m afraid that I can’t with a learning disability I love makeup and I love nails I wanna learn more about it I can do makeup good I fill like that’s my talent I have been trying to find my talent but it’s hard I wanna become something for my kids for myself but the school work is way too hard for me when I was in middle school I was in a small class and I was doing good learning slowly but I was learning I went to 9 they put me in a big class I couldn’t do it I don’t do my work I just sit they and draw I can’t do the work and I just look up at everybody and they are all working and I’m just sitting there lost there was times I went to the bathroom and cried thinking to myself why can’t I be like everyone else why can’t I do it like them I had no choice but to go to school because my mom’s bf made me go and I got to the point I would go in the bathroom and start kicking and crying it’s hard for me so my mom and her bf broke up and I got pregnant and I dropped out of school so since then I have not been in school I’m 18 and I wanna go to school but I can’t do big classes or do some type of online but something that will help me with my learning problem ???

  2. Thank you guys for this amazing thread I’ve came across a hardship in my life recently because of my learning disability and I can honestly say this helped me get my mind right.

  3. I m 34 and I have a learnig disability Im planning on going back to school to be an early childhood and cna but I have trouble comprehending and passing the tests Im hoping that I can get some help having a learning disability does hurt me because I be frustrated and suffering from it it took me 3 tomes to pass my drivers linces but I got it! I beeni g determing trying to get a certificate but I dont know what resource to help me or the right people to help me I hope god can bless me to get help with a good job.

  4. anonymous says:

    Everyone Learns at there own pace: I was born in Ethiopia and discovered my learning problem around 3rd grade. I came home and didn’t know how to do my homework. I failed all my exams literally 0/X. I did however have some concept of learning at the time hence why I know I was dong bad. Until I was about the age of eight I didn’t learn to read or write. At age nine my family moved us to the United States. I had difficulty learning English and also didn’t learn basic arithmetic until I was the age of ten. Eventually I did learn on my own (no intervention or medical diagnosis). My family didn’t have the capacity or resources to think different about my learning problem. They treated me like any kid. I enjoined sports so that was my social and academic avenue. Eventually I was able to graduate high-school and obtain a BS from college with focus in Engineering. Non of it was easy: I was always struggling but found ways to overcome my failures mostly through hard work. I’ve been working as a Professional in different industries for the past ten years and later found out from my peers and managers how I am actually more intellectual than the average through many project successes and organization awards. I’ve also been very savvy and had a small success in startups. The lesson here is Everyone is Different and if we classify and focus on prescription then we create a society and eventually a world with unfulfilled potential.

    • Stephaney Gray says:

      Hi. I don’t know when you wrote this but I find that my 14 year old tries very hard to learn but mostly fails. Especially math. Can you say the steps you took when doing it on your own. Please be vivid.
      I too do not subscribe to a prescribed solution but also believe that we all learn at our own pace and in our own way.
      You can respond to me at

  5. I was in LD classes at a young age. My problem was always math. I struggled with reading too. However as I got older I found that I actually love to read. Math on the other hand, not so much. If I didn’t understand a math problem quickly my brain just shut down and I would drift off into space. I am 35 now. I’m still like that even today. It was always embarrassing for me in school going to LD classes. I just wanted to go to regular classes like everyone else.

  6. Sarah McClenaghan says:

    Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m 22 with a learning disability. I wasn’t aware I had a LD until almost a year ago, when my mom told me. When I got evaluated as a child, the doctor told my mom my IQ was lower than my actual age – that I was going to have a difficult time connecting with others, struggle in school, have a hard time expressing myself through words, not be able to socialize, and overall, be disabled and struggle throughout my whole life. I always knew I was different while I was growing up, but it never came together until recently and honestly, it’s been hard to accept. Some people treat those with LD differently, like we are stupid, not able to do anything, that they are superior, and we are useless. Slowly over time, I have realized my LD doesn’t define me who I am. I cannot change the fact I have a LD, but if I want to be successful, I must accept who I am, and try my best to improve myself to be the person I want to be. Ironically enough, I am currently in college going for a major in Communications, with a minor in Psychology to become a Motivational Speaker and spread awareness on mental health, as well as Learning Disabilities. Those who have LD deserve to be heard, and I am going to let others know with LD’s they are not alone. We deserve to be here, to be understood, to receive respect, and be loved. Do not give up because you are different – embrace who you are, get the help you need, and no matter what, believe you can achieve – because you CAN. And you WILL.

Speak Your Mind