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  • Writer's picture Ginny Johnson

What does it mean to have a SLD (Specific Learning Disability)?

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

The term SLD refers to a specific group of learning issues. These disabilities affect the student’s ability to reason, listen, read, write and do math.

The disability generally falls into one of five categories: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorder and nonverbal learning disability.


So, what does this all mean? Let’s walk through them one at a time:

  • Dyslexia: the person has trouble reading and may also have trouble with spelling, writing and reading comprehension. Researchers have stated that between 10 -17% of the population is dyslexic. This is a life long condition. It is not outgrown ….. however, students learn strategies to overcome these obstacles and be successful

  • Dysgraphia: the concern is with writing, specifically, handwriting and spelling. There are numerous different strategies to help a dysgraphia student including occupational therapy and school supports

  • Dyscalculia: The student has trouble with math. If you notice, part of the word “calculate” is incorporated in the term. Because dyscalculia has to with math it not only affects school work but also with daily tasks such as cooking and getting places on time.

  • Auditory Processing Disorder: Simply put the student has trouble understanding what is being said to them. Contrary to popular belief it has nothing to do with the ability to hear. The person has trouble processing the sound that they hear.

  • Nonverbal Learning Disability: The concern affects the student’s ability to do abstract thinking and spatial relationships. All of this creates social challenges for the child.


Learn More:

To learn more about these five disabilities visit the website, Understood


Home. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2020, from

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