Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. The most common treatments for learning disabilities include special education, speech and language therapy, some medications and psychological therapies. Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions. Sometimes, several overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent or just a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on their lives.
The following support research on learning disabilities: the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Research is focused on developing techniques to diagnose and treat learning disabilities and increase understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities.