A verbal learning disability entails problems with language tasks such as reading, writing, comprehension and spelling, and is a frequently diagnosed type of learning disability. Symptoms of a verbal learning disability may present as problems with using language to communicate, relating written letters with their spoken sounds or other language applications like reading and spelling.
There are many ways to use language which is why these learning difficulties can be so different from child to child. Some of the different types of developmental and speech language disorders include:
- Expressive language disorders: problems using language to communicate a message effectively
- Receptive language disorders: problems comprehending or responding appropriately to verbal messages
- Articulation disorders: difficulty controlling rate of speech or speech sounds
Academic skills disorders, defined in the DSM-IV, refer to specific areas of achievement most often addressed in school settings. Academic skills disorders include:
- Developmental reading disorder: problems combining or separating word-sounds to enable fluent reading (sometimes referred to as dyslexia)
- Developmental writing disorder: problems composing a coherent written sentence with correct grammar and legible handwriting
- Developmental arithmetic disorder: problems with recognizing and manipulating numbers and reasoning mathematically.
Other learning difficulties (occasionally referred to as nonverbal learning difficulties) involve poor motor coordination, spatial awareness, social and/or sensory dysfunction, and also encompass difficulties in areas that enable effective learning such as attention or memory. Many of the specified disorders tend to exist together – that is, it is not uncommon for a child with poor expressive language to have concurrent trouble with reading, writing or spelling and an inability to focus attention for an extended period.