In the United States and Canada, the terms learning disability and learning disorder (LD) refer to a group of disorders that affect a broad range of academic and functional skills including the ability to speak, listen, read, write, spell, reason, organize information, and do math. The disorders are neurological in origin and reflect information processing problems in the brain.
As the term is generally understood in the US and Canada, learning disabilities are not indicative of intelligence level. Rather, people with learning disabilities have trouble performing specific types of skills or completing tasks if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
In the UK, terms such as specific learning difficulty (SpLD), dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia are used to cover the type and range of learning difficulties referred to in the United States and Canada as "learning disabilities". In the UK, the term "learning disability" usually refers to a range of conditions that are almost invariably associated with more severe cognitive impairments; the term therefore generally is taken to be indicative of low intelligence in the UK.
A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.
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