Learning disability or learning difficulty?

A learning disability is different from a learning difficulty as a learning difficulty does not affect general intellect.

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Learning disability

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.

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Types of learning difficulty

There are many different types of learning difficulty, some of the more well known are dyslexia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia and dyscalculia. A person can have one, or a combination.

As with learning disability, learning difficulties can also exist on a scale. A person might have a mild learning difficulty or a severe learning difficulty. The same is true of learning disabilities.

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Learning difficulties in children

A learning difficulty usually presents in childhood and can cause a person to experience problems in a traditional classroom setting.

We have produced a range of free resources to help you find out more about the Government's changes to how children are supported within the Special Educational Needs system.

See our guides

It is possible for a person to have both a learning disability and a learning difficulty.

If you have any questions, complete our contact form and one of our advisors will get in touch with you shortly.

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Learning disability and conditions

There are some conditions that mean you are likely to have a learning disability, but will also have other physical or emotional effects.
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Research and statistics

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Resources for healthcare professionals

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