Learning difficulties are usually specific problems that affect our ability to learn but do not necessarily have a significant overall effect on our intelligence

Boy looking sad in school

Learning difficulties are usually associated with specific parts of the brain that might function a bit differently. However, specific emotional problems such as anxiety can also lead to learning difficulties, as this may affect our ability to learn. Learning difficulties are often picked up at school. Examples of different types of learning difficulties include:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Attention difficulties
  • Speech problems and language difficulties in children and young people.

Top tips

  • Understanding: It is important to learn about your learning difficulties so you know where you might need extra support – this might be in certain subjects but not others.
  • Strengths: Your learning difficulty is specific, meaning that there are lots of areas of learning that you are good at too. It is important to understand your strengths so that you can use these to balance and support your difficulties.
  • Ask: If you do not understand a task, question or situation, it is important that you don’t guess or pretend and instead ask someone to help.
  • Organisation: Getting organised can really help with learning difficulties. It might mean using your diary, organiser, phone or tablet to help you with lists, reminders or alarms.
  • Support: Lots of young people and young adults have learning difficulties and adapt really well to them. See if you can find an older buddy to help you with your journey.
  • Communication: It’s really important that people communicate with each other – that might be your parents and your teachers, or yourself and your manager at work.
  • Professional support: You may need extra assessment or support to help understand and manage your learning difficulties; this is usually accessed through your additional needs coordinator if you are at school.

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