As you read through the following list of characteristics, keep in mind that everyone experiences some of the characteristics some of the time. In thinking about a person that may have a learning disability, look through this list and check the ones that occur often or MOST of the time.


___ Poor memory (difficulty remembering what was heard, seen, or read)
___ Difficulty in organizing ideas and information

___ Difficulty retrieving the appropriate word
___ Limited range of vocabulary

Perceptual Motor
___ Reversals of letters and numbers
___ Difficulties hearing differences between similar sounding words
___ Difficulties reading a map

Written Language
___ Trouble getting ideas on paper
___ Many errors in using grammar

___ Difficulty sounding words out
___ Slower reading rate than others
___ Difficulties understanding what is read

___ Reversing words like "saw" for "was"
___ Leaving out letters when you spell
___ Avoiding writing words that are difficult to spell

___ Laborious effort and time to complete written work
___ Illegible handwriting
___ Difficulties copying from the board or overhead

___ Poor adding, subtracting, multiplication, and/or division skills
___ Inability to memorize the multiplication tables.
___ Difficulties understanding word problems
___ Difficulties remembering the sequence and steps to a math problem

Work and Study Habits
___ Poor time management skills
___ Difficulties completing work
___ Difficulties staying on task
___ Difficulties starting task
___ Excessive test anxiety

Social Skills
___ Difficulties expressing what you felt or thought
___ Difficulties understanding humor and sarcasm
___ Difficulties with small talk
___ Difficulties reading body language and facial expression
___ Difficulties working with others

___ Low sense of self worth
___ Low self-confidence
___ Overly sensitive to criticism
___ Frustrated easily
___ Impulsive when responding to others


What distinguishes a learning disability from a learning difficulty is that a disability substantially interferes with a person's ability to function in school, work or life. Therefore, testing to discover the cause of the learning difficulty may provide additional support or accommodations if a disability is found.


For more information on characteristics of learning disabilities, please call LDA Minnesota at 952-582-6000.