Learning disabilities are problems that affect the child’s ability to receive, process, analyze or store information. They can make it difficult for this child to read, write, spell or solve math problems.
Dyscalculia, or mathematical disability, refers to a persistent difficulty in learning or understanding number concepts, counting principles or arithmetic. These difficulties are often called a mathematical disability. Between 3% and 8% of school-aged children show persistent grade-to-grade difficulties in learning such mathematical concepts. About half of children with dyscalculia are also delayed in learning to read or have a reading disability, and many have attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Dyslexia, or reading disability, refers to an unexpected difficulty in reading, “unexpected” meaning that all the factors necessary for reading appear to be present (intelligence, motivation and at least adequate reading instruction), yet the child is still struggling to read. Reading difficulties are not only highly prevalent (estimates range from 25% to 40%); they are also persistent. Roughly 75% of children who struggle to read in third grade will continue to struggle throughout school.
Failure in reading is highly correlated with overall school failure and subsequent behaviour, social and emotional problems, with reading considered a protective factor that helps to counter social and/or economic disadvantage. Mathematics competence accounts for variance in employment, income and work productivity. Learning disabilities are therefore a serious public-health problem, leading to life-long difficulties in learning skills both in school and in the workplace, and creating financial burdens on society.