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Learning Difficulties

Learning difficulties and learning problems are often the first descriptive terms used when a child begins to have trouble in school. In some countries it is also used as a synonym for learning disabilities (LD). However, learning difficulties and learning disabilities are usually distinguished with learning difficulties being the broader term. Any person may experience a learning difficulty between mild and severe, which may be caused by internal or external factors, and may or may not be an “expected” consequence of the person’s potential. However, whenever a child is formally classified as “learning disabled” in the USA, he becomes the financial responsibility of the state. These children, who are provided with educational programs under federal law, are in most states distinguished from other children with learning difficulties on two grounds:

First, the basis of their scholastic problems is presumed to be due to some neurological dysfunction. The LD category excludes children who have learning difficulties as a result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. Needless to say, this exclusion is one of the most contentious issues in the LD field. Apart from the fact that the existence of a neurological dysfunction has never been proved, it is impossible to prove that the environment has played no role in the creation of a learning disability.

Second, to be diagnosed as “learning disabled,” there must be a discrepancy between a child's potential and his achievement. Usually a 50 percent discrepancy formula is used as a criterion for identification. A 50 percent discrepancy means that a child achieves only half as well as one would expect from him when considering his potential. One implication of a 50 percent discrepancy is that a child of normal intelligence have to spend two years at school before a one-year discrepancy (50 percent) can be calculated and the child can receive treatment.

Learning difficulties, whether they represent a learning disability or not, should always be addressed. They should receive attention while they are simply learning difficulties, before they have a chance to start a negative chain reaction that can include broad educational, social, personal, emotional, and family issues.

Audiblox is effective in overcoming learning difficulties by addressing the underlying shortcomings that interfere with academic performance.