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Learning Skills

What is a Learning Disability?

The Learning Process

The learning process can be divided into 5 steps:

  1. Take in information through the senses
  2. Figure out what it means
  3. File it into memory
  4. Later, withdraw it from memory and remember it
  5. Feed it back to the outside world through some form of expression, such as speech or writing

For someone with a learning disability, there is a breakdown somewhere in these steps, and the individual may need different or additional ways to take in information, file it into memory, or withdraw it from memory.

Why Is It Important To Know If You Have a Learning Disability?

It is important to know one's strengths and weaknesses because there are ways to compensate for the weaknesses by working with your strengths.  Also, if you have been diagnosed as having a learning disability, you are entitled by law to certain accommodations to "even the playing field" and enable you to succeed in school.

For example, if you have difficulty picking up information just by listening to a lecture, you can use a tape recorder to record the lectures.  Then, when you get home, you can play the tape back and fill in your missing notes.

Or, if you are easily distracted, you can request to take your exams in a quiet room with fewer distractions.


A person with a learning disability has average to above average intelligence and may:

These learning problems are not the result of poor vision, poor hearing, mental retardation, physical challenges, or emotional disturbance. A learning disability often runs in families. It is neurologically based, life long and present since birth.

On the positive side, a person with a learning disability often:

Famous People With Learning Disabilities

Albert Einstein (developer of the law of relativity) was 4 years old before he learned to talk. He failed his first college entrance examination.

Thomas Edison (inventor of the light bulb) had a teacher who told him he was too stupid to learn, so his mother taught him at home.

Sir Richard Branson (business mogul and philanthropist) had difficulty in school due to dyslexia.

Michael Jordan (title holding athlete and basketball player) had difficulty in school due to ADHD.

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