What is a Learning Disability?

When we look at the history of pedagogy and psychology, we see that the complex, inconceivable and surprising event we call “Learning” has been the subject of research since a long time ago. The realization of learning depends on both the existence of certain conditions in individuals and the environment providing opportunities for these conditions to develop. As a result of the researches conducted on individuals with normal or above-normal intelligence levels and who have difficulties in learning even though they do not have any disability, it has been determined that learning disabilities may arise from malfunctions in the functioning of the central nervous system. In this way, it has been determined that intellectual disability, a deficiency in any sense, or a motor disorder or a nervousness disorder can cause such a situation as well as learning difficulties that can be caused by irregularities in the functioning of the brain. For this reason, it has been understood that this situation may arise not from an inability, but from a defect or deficiency in the neurology of learning.

It is necessary to look at various dimensions to distinguish Learning Disabilities from other groups that have problems in learning. For example; In order to say that the child’s learning problem is not caused by hearing loss, if there is a loss in the child, this loss should not exceed 30-35 decibels. Likewise, if there is a deficiency in vision, in order to be able to say that the problem in learning is not from vision loss, but from learning disability, the deficiency in vision should not exceed 20/40. In order to say that the learning disability is not caused by intellectual disability, the intelligence quotient should not be below 90. When the mobility dimension is considered, in order to call a learning disability a disability, there should be no deficiency in any of the organs of the person, and the inability to use any of their limbs. When we look at the emotional dimension, in order to say that the learning problem is a learning disability that is not caused by situations such as adjustment disorder or excitement disorder, the existence of the conditions mentioned in the projective test results, in the observations of the child’s attitudes in different environments and times should not be seen.

When it is determined that a child has a Learning Disability as a result of the evaluations, it is necessary to draw up a special education program for the child and not to evaluate him from the same point as other children in his class or home. The program to be prepared should help overcome obstacles and overcome learning difficulties. The earlier this particular program is started, the more beneficial it will be.

Before the program is prepared, what the child can and cannot do, his or her strengths and weaknesses, social maturity, acuity of senses and intelligence should be carefully reviewed and his needs should be determined.

As a result; It is important to be able to activate the potential that exists in learning difficulties. Early education should be given due importance in order to prevent losing when one can win, and all senses of the child should be activated without forgetting the importance of intersensory transfer while teaching. Rather than fading away, individuals with learning disabilities should be tried to become an integral part of the society and become a useful member, help them gain their social maturity, help them live independently, and provide the necessary environment for them to gain self-confidence. Parents of children who are found to have learning difficulties should consult experts in this field to provide the support their children need.

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