Just What Is a Learning Disability, Anyway?

A learning disability is defined as a permanent problem that affects a person with average to above average intelligence, in the way that he/she receives, stores, and processes information.

There are many wrong ideas out there about learning disabilities.

1) A learning disability will go away in time.

Unfortunately, this is not true. The good news is, you can learn ways to get around the problem. For example, kids who have trouble taking notes in class, like Michele did, can record the class on audiotape. Or, other students can make copies of the notes they have taken for them. The teacher can makes copies the notes they are lecturing from. Or, when the notes are written down on an overhead transparency during the lecture, they can be copied after class and given to the student.

For children who have trouble reading, tapes of many of the textbooks are made available through the publishing companies. At one school where I taught, volunteers did the taping. We also used tapes that were recorded by a company called Recordings for the Blind.

2) A person with a learning disability has a low IQ.

Again, not true. In order for a person to have a learning disability, they have to have an average or better IQ. There are many people who, although they intelligent, just cannot learn as well as their IQ suggests they should. I