Learning Disabilities List of Types of Learning Disabilities


Below, you will find a comprehensive learning disabilities list, which could help you determine if your child may have a learning disability.

This learning disabilities list is as broad as I can make it without spilling over into categories that are diagnostically not learning disabilities at all. By understanding how learning disabilities are classified, you can answer questions like:

  • Is ADHD a learning disability?
  • Is Dyslexia a learning disability?
  • Is Autism a learning disability?
  • And, more importantly, Does my child have a learning disability?

There are MANY, MANY conditions which affect a child’s learning, but the vast majority of learning problems are not diagnostically classified as learning disabilities.  You may want to read the specific learning disability definition, particularly if you are working with a school. A school’s criteria for deciding if your child has a learning disability will not be the same as yours or even the same as a neuropsychologist’s criteria!

In the list of learning disabilities below, I am including many common conditions that affect a child’s learning in significant ways like ADHD, Asperger’s, Sensory Integration Disorder, etc., even if these disabilities are not clinically categorized as a “specific learning disorder.” As a parent, I believe it is more important for you to know of the existence of conditions that may be affecting your child’s learning rather than being overly specific about diagnostic criteria.

While physical disabilities (example: ocular motor deficiencies), neuro-biological disabilities (example:ADHD), and other conditions are not specific learning disabilities, each of these conditions clearly affect a child’ learning in significant ways. Therefore, I’m going to break this list down into a variety of lists to help you understand what types of disabilities fall into which categories.

Specific Learning Disabilities List from Combined APA and IDEA Criteria:

The learning disabilities listed in the four categories that follow are specifically categorized by diagnosticians and educators as “Specific Learning Disorders” or “Specific Learning Disabilities.”  These are the precise diagnostic and identification categories used by professionals.

It is important for you to know that there are many underlying neurological and cognitive processes that can affect your child’s learning, and which will qualify your child to fall into one of the four broad DSM5 Specific Learning Disabilities categories.

Therefore, think of this list as a set of four big boxes that will hold smaller boxes, building blocks, and other items that might affect your child’s learning.

The short lists under each of the four main categories are the mid-sized boxes that schools use to categorize learning disabilities, but kids may have any number of neurological issues that contribute to the specific learning disability.

In the broadest sense, here are your four big learning disability categories listed with the medium-sized categories below:

1) Reading Disorders

Learning Disabilities List
Basic reading skills (reading decoding, phonemic awareness deficits)
Reading fluency skills (word recall, rapid naming)
Reading comprehension

2) Math Disorders

Mathematics calculation (math computation)
Mathematics problem solving (math reasoning)

3) Writing Disorders

Written expression (expression, not handwriting)

4) Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (D-NOS)

Oral expression
Listening comprehension

List of the Most Common Disabilities that Affect Learning

ADHD (is not diagnostically a specific learning disability because it is neuro-biological in origin)
Aspergers (not a specific learning disability diagnostically because it falls in the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis category)
Dyslexia (is a specific learning disability, and falls into the “Basic Reading Skills” box above)
Dysgraphia (Can be a specific learning disability, depending upon the cause. Handwriting issues are often physical coordination disorders, but an inability to get words onto paper for neurological reasons would fall into the “Written expression” box abov)
Dyscalculia (is a specific learning disability, and falls into the “Math Disorders” box above)
Executive Functioning Deficit (is a specific learning disability, falls into the Disorder Not Otherwise Specified category)

Learning Disabilities List of Conditions that Affect All Subjects

Attention Functioning

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Types:

  • Inattentive Type
  • Active Type
  • Combined Type
  • Other Specified ADHD (secondary) – Diagnosed when the reason for not being clinically diagnosed with neuro-biological ADHD is known, such as when underlying learning disabilities cause the child’s ADHD symptoms. Your child may have ADHD symptoms, but the symptoms are not caused by neuro-biological imbalances in the brain.
  • Unspecified ADHD

Processing Disabilities

Auditory Processing Disorder
Processing Speed Deficit
Sensory Integration Disorders

Memory-based Disabilities

Working Memory Deficit
Long-term Memory Deficit
Memory Recall Deficit

Perceptual Disabilities

Visual Perception

Communication Disabilities

Non-verbal Learning Disability
Speech-Language disability

Physical Disabilities

Developmental Coordination Disorder (commonly affects hand-writing)
Scotopic Sensitivity (light-spectrum sensitivity affecting visual perception)
Ocular Motor Deficits (eye-movement disorders, not the same as 20/20 visual acuity)

Pervasive Developmental Disabilities

Autism Spectrum Disorders including Aspergers Syndrome
Pervasive Developmental Delay, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

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