Learning Disability with Impairment in Reading

A learning disability with impairment in reading (formerly referred to as Dyslexia) is the inability or difficulty in interpreting written language in spite of normal or above-normal intelligence. This “reading disability” can impact upon phonological awareness or decoding, orthographic decoding, and even auditory short-term memory.  A learning disability with impairment in reading is considered to be the most common learning disability.

A learning disability with impairment in reading occurs when there is an issue in the areas of the brain that help to interpret language and is not, in fact, caused by visual impairments. While a this impairment effects the ability to read, it in no way impairs the ability to think or understand complex ideas.  Severity is defined as mild, moderate, and severe.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of a learning disability with impairment in reading do not show significant change as the individual ages. According to the DSM-V, young children, elementary-age children, adolescents, and adults tend to exhibit similar difficulties, including:

  • Word reading accuracy
  • Reading rate or fluency
  • Reading comprehension

A learning disability with impairment in reading, like all Learning Disabilities, impacts upon all aspects of an individual’s life. Learning Disabilities are present in all ethnic and language groups, and may disrupt a child’s home life, education, behavior, and social life. At home, children with a learning disability with impairment in reading face many of the same difficulties they do in school. Trouble reading, difficulties managing home-work or written “to-do” lists may impact negatively upon home life. At school, they have trouble completing written class work and reading assignments, and may often miss valuable information due to inability to read instructional material.

An assessment is a necessary step before decisions can be made about accommodation and eligibility for services. The diagnosis of a learning disability with impairment in reading, as with all Learning Disabilities, is conducted by a qualified assessor who is registered in the province to complete assessments. The criteria for these behaviours are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V).  If you suspect you or your child may have a learning disability with impairment in reading please contact the office to speak about assessment options.

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