What are learning difficulties?

Learning difficulties are different for each person, so there are many ways to explain them. We define a learning difficulty as a problem of understanding or an emotional difficulty that affects a person’s ability to learn, get along with others and follow convention.

Some things to look out for:

  • Losing concentration
  • Getting bored easily
  • Acting impulsively
  • Tripping over things
  • Struggling with reading or writing
  • Losing track of time
  • Forgetting things
  • Being single-minded
  • Finding everyday tasks difficult, like using cutlery or a pen

These are things we can all experience now and again. The difference for children and young people with learning difficulties is that these behaviours keep happening and can make daily life much harder.

Common causes of learning difficulties

There are lots of different conditions that cause learning difficulties. Often, these conditions can overlap. Some are listed here, but there are others such as Fragile X, Down’s Syndrome or foetal alcohol syndrome that can be a cause too. 

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