Learning Disabilities FAQ

What is a Learning Disability?

A Learning Disability is a genetic or organic condition that creates a neurological deficit that impairs the central nervous system. A Learning Disability acts as a barrier to receiving, processing, and/or expressing information.

Isn't LD Just Another Label for Low Intelligence?

No. In order to be classified as learning disabled, a person must have at least average intelligence. The LD student may process information slower than non-LD students, but with accommodations, he/she can perform either at their level or better. This is not a question of a limited ability to achieve, but of a different means by which achievement can occur.

What is ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)?

ADD is a condition of the parts of the brain that filter stimuli. A person with ADD is unable to filter out or give appropriate priorities to the stimuli he/she receives. A person with ADD will find it difficult to focus and concentrate, and too many distractions will render this individual unable to perform high-level thought processes. A person with ADD sometimes also has a Learning Disability, but not always.

How do You get a Learning Disability?

You are either born with it or have some type of injury or illness that affects certain areas of the brain.

Can Learning Disabilities be Corrected?

Until recently the answer was unequivocally "No." Some research and practice suggests that, for some disabilities, a process called auditory integration training can change hearing and learning patterns.

How Can You Find out if You Have a Learning Disability?

First, visit the Disabled Student Programs and Services. They can help you determine if you should have LD testing. Testing is a service provided by the Learning Disability Program.

What is Involved in LD Testing?

The test includes an intelligence test and tests of verbal and quantitative skills. If a person has a markedly higher intelligence than his/her demonstrated skills and has difficulty in organizing or expressing information, he/she is learning disabled.

What Services are Available for Students with Learning Disabilities?

The Learning Disability program provides books on tape, arranges for class notes, and provides peer tutors for the students who need them.

Do my Teachers have to know I have a Learning Disability?

That information is confidential and cannot be released to anyone without your permission. It will be in your best interest to give permission for your teachers to have information about your LD, as they are then required by law to provide certain accommodations.

Do LD students get special privileges?

If you consider eyeglasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids to be special privileges, then yes. If you understand that the accommodations given LD students are analogous to the above aids to learning, then no. Accommodations simply put LD students on a level playing field with those who are not LD.