Examples of learning disabilities

There are many different conditions which may contribute to learning disabilities; most are caused by birth defects or congenital conditions but some may result from illness during childhood. Some of the most common syndromes and conditions are listed below:

  • Down’s syndrome: Down’s syndrome is a condition, which is caused by the presence of an additional chromosome 21 in each of the cells. Down’s syndrome usually causes learning disabilities because people with the syndrome have a much lower IQ than average; this can make it difficult to learn new things and remember information.
  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder): ADHD is characterised by three main symptoms, including behavioural problems, a lack of concentration and hyperactivity. Many children grow out of ADHD but some continue to suffer from the condition during adulthood. Medication has been proven to be effective in dealing with the short-term effects of ADHD; however, recently there has been some criticism that medication has been prescribed too readily in some cases.
  • Autistic Spectrum disorder: people with Autistic Spectrum disorders are often very creative but they have trouble socialising with other people and behave awkwardly in social situations. Often, people with Autistic Spectrum disorders benefit from a routine, as they don’t feel comfortable in unfamiliar situations.
  • Dyslexia: dyslexia is a condition which affects reading, spelling and writing; the word dyslexia is Greek and means ‘difficulty with words’. Dyslexia is very common and often affects people who are very intelligent, as well as those with a slightly lower intellectual capacity.
  • Fragile X syndrome: Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of a mental impairment, which is caused as a result of an inherited condition. Fragile X affects people in a variety of ways and some people are affected more severely than others. Fragile X syndrome often contributes to autism, or autistic-like behaviour. The syndrome can cause slow development, speech and language problems and behavioural problems.
  • Prader-Willi syndrome: Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder which is caused by problems with chromosome number 15; this disruption affects the hypothalamus. People with Prader-Willi syndrome often have symptoms consistent with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and like to stick to a rigid routine. Prader-Willi syndrome often causes learning difficulties, slow growth, behavioural problems and weight problems (this is because the hypothalamus controls the appetite).

Learning Disabilities

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