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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Learning Disability
      Category : Health Centers > Disabilities

Learning Disability

Alternate Names : LD, Academic Disorders, Learning Disorder

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

When a person has a learning disability, he or she is unable to obtain or express knowledge appropriately. Learning disabilities may also involve mental processes used in understanding or using written or spoken language.

What is going on in the body?

It is generally believed that the brain functions differently in a person with a learning disability. A person with a learning disability has average to above-average intelligence when measured by standardized testing. However, the person's reading, math, or written expression is much lower than expected for age, schooling, and environment. Learning disorders may affect a person's ability to read, write, spell, speak, or perform math problems.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The exact causes of a learning disability are unknown. The way a person's brain works may cause learning disabilities. Certain biological, genetic, or environmental factors are linked with learning disabilities. Boys are affected 4 to 5 times more than girls. Learning disabilities can run in families. The following factors may contribute to the cause of learning disability:

  • genetics
  • injury to the fetus
  • medical problems the mother had during pregnancy
  • prenatal exposure to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or other toxic substances
  • lead poisoning
  • premature birth, low birth weight, or birth trauma
  • head injury
  • poor nutrition, either the child's or the mother's when she was pregnant
  • certain medical problems, such as asthma, allergies, or diabetes


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    Learning Disability: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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