The Vocabulary of

Learning

Disabilities

There are dozens of words and terms you will encounter as you navigate the world of learning disabilities. Children who have problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing might be diagnosed with:

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - is a neurologically based disorder often diagnosed in childhood. In a nutshell, these children may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (such as acting without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

Auditory Processing Disorder, which can also be known by a variety of similar names, is the brain's inability to interpret sounds correctly. APD often exists alongside other language-based conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism, among others.

Dyslexia is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms which cause difficulty with language skills, particularly reading. Most people with dyslexia have difficulty identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds.

Dyscalculia encompasses specific learning disabilities that affect a child’s ability to understand, learn, and perform math and number-based operations.  

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that affects written expression, often manifesting as distorted and/or misspelled handwritten letters and words.

Executive Functions are the set of processes used to manage tasks, the neurologically based skills involved in mental control and self-regulation.

Expressive Language Disorder is an umbrella term that encompasses others, but simply put is the inability to share your own thoughts/responses yet fully understanding what others are saying to you. Dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia are types of expressive language disorders.

Language-Based Learning Disabilities is another umbrella term that encompasses many of the others on this list; dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, for example, are all language-based learning disabilities.

Mixed Receptive Expressive Language Disorder is a third umbrella term which encompasses others like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia and is described as inability to understand what others are saying paired with the inability to share your own thoughts/responses.

The Science of Learning to Read