One of LDA Minnesota’s core values is Reaching Out to Share Expertise. This value emphasizes LDA Minnesota’s role as a resource for information to the community. LDA Minnesota strives to be the primary resource people come to when faced with a learning disability or related learning difficulty. We trust that you will find the following information useful, comprehensive and accurate.

What Are Learning Disabilities?

Definition: There are a variety of definitions for “learning disabilities” (LD) that have been formulated over the years. Definitions can vary due to different perspectives from legal, medical, or educational disciplines. Additionally, because LD impacts people differently at various ages or life stages, a variety of definitions have evolved to represent these implications and interpretations.

View Glossary of Terms.

Did You Know?

  • A learning disability is a neurobiological disorder where the brain works or is structured in such a way that it impedes the ability to receive, store, process, or produce information.
  • A learning disability can affect one’s ability to speak, listen, read, write, spell, reason, recall, organize information, and do mathematics.
  • A learning disability is one of the leading causes of illiteracy.
  • Most people with learning disabilities are of average or above-average intelligence.
  • One out of every seven Americans has some form of a learning disability. (National Institute of Health)
  • 35% of students identified with learning disabilities drop out of high school. (National Center for Learning Disabilities)
  • Two-thirds of Americans still link learning disabilities to mental retardation. (Roper report, commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation)
  • Several studies have shown that between 50-60% of adolescents in treatment for substance abuse have learning disabilities. (Hazelden Foundation, National Institute of Child Health Human Development)
  • For people with learning disabilities, there is typically a significant and unexpected difference between the person’s achievement and ability levels.
  • A person with LD may be able to express ideas orally, fluently and eloquently; however, they may be unable to write the same ideas on paper using correct sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and/or spelling.
  • A person with LD experiences some type of processing deficit.
  • A person with an auditory processing deficit may misunderstand what they hear and/or have difficulties remembering what they hear, despite normal hearing.
  • A person with a visual processing deficit may have difficulties visualizing things such as pictures, shapes, or words. They have difficulties remembering what they see, despite normal vision.
  • A person with processing speed deficit may have difficulties with the rate at which they process information. They may feel as if they are always at least one step behind everyone else.
Back to Top