What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. An individual with a mild learning disability may be able to look after themselves, but require more time to learn new skills. An adult with a moderate or severe learning disability might not be able to live independently and they may need help with everyday tasks for their whole lives.

What causes Learning Disabilities?

Learning disabilities are caused by a variety of genetic and physiological factors. These include:

  • Genetic syndromes, such as sequence variations or copy number variants involving one or more genes

  • Chromosomal disorders

  • Inborn errors of metabolism, brain malformations, maternal disease during pregnancy (such as diabetes, infections or placental disease)

  • Environmental influences such as alcohol, other drugs, toxins, teratogens during pregnancy

  • Illness or injury in early childhood, prematurity or a condition associated with a learning disability 

Sometimes, there is no known cause for a learning disability.

Learning disabilities look very different from one person to another. One person may struggle with reading and writing, while another person may struggle to communicate,  understand math or have sensory difficulties. It is difficult to identify specific learning disability characteristics or symptoms.

Symptoms of Learning Disabilities can include:   

  • Low intelligence

  • Difficulties learning, understanding, problem-solving, thinking abstractly

  • Verbal comprehension difficulties 

  • Significant difficulties with regular everyday functioning

A qualified professional will need to conduct certain tests and evaluations to diagnose a learning disability.

Learning Disabilities can cause:

  • Inability to problem solve, plan, think abstractly, learn academically and from experience, resulting in difficulties learning in school or other academic situations

  • Difficulties working or finding jobs due to intellectual difficulties or missing social cues

  • Social impairments resulting in difficulty connecting with other individuals

  • Problems communicating, participating socially, and living independently across multiple environments and situations 

Just because an individual has a learning disability, it does not mean they are not intelligent; quite the opposite can be true. An individual with a learning disability is simply unable to receive and process information in the same way, but that does not take away from their level of intelligence. However, if an individual with a learning disability does not receive help, then it can become strenuous for them to live happily and effectively, especially as they reach adulthood.

How we can help:

There are several effective ways of treating an individual with a learning disability or an individual who is struggling to learn. The most effective ways are through Neurofeedback and Psychotherapies such as Clinical HypnosisNeurofeedback can train the networks that are suspected of underperforming, but it can also reduce anxiety associated with learning.  When this is combined with outside tools such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) as well as customized teaching techniques, learning difficulties can be overcome.

Clinical Hypnosis can be used to instil self-esteem and self-confidence two elements often lacking in individuals with learning disorders.  Finally, a thorough Functional Medicine assessment can establish any links with environmental (nutrition or otherwise) causes that can then be remedied.

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