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(713) 968-9820
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(713) 968-9820

Glossary

LEARNING DISABILITIES
Learning disabilities interfere with a person’s ability to process and interpret information. They are characterized by a discrepancy between a person’s ability level and his or her performance in academic or functional areas. Learning disabilities occur in individuals who have at least average intelligence and have difficulty learning in spite of quality instruction. These abilities may be hereditary and are caused by a difference in brain structure or function. Learning disabilities may be broken into three categories: language-based learning disabilities, non-verbal learning disabilities, and difficulties with executive functioning.  
-Language-based learning disabilities are the most common subgroup, and may lead to problems in all academic areas, including listening, reading, writing, spelling, and math. These disabilities are related to problems with language processing and production and do not indicate impaired intelligence. Language-based learning disabilities create a gap between a person’s true capacity and his or her performance on language-based tasks. Individuals with a learning disability may have problems with organization, storage or memory, and retrieval of learned information. Other difficulties may include understanding and answering questions, following complex or multi-step directions, using and understanding grammar, using and understanding figurative language, clarifying miscommunications, and maintaining a conversational topic. These individuals may have a small vocabulary, use short, common, or nonspecific words, exhibit weak association and categorization skills, and demonstrate weak narrative skills.  
DYSLEXIA
Dyslexia is one language-based learning disability that affects the development of reading, spelling, and written language skills. A person with dyslexia has difficulty identifying words quickly and accurately. This lack of word identification often translates into difficulty reading, writing, spelling, math, and organization despite the individual’s high level of intelligence.
DYSGRAPHIA
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that involves difficulty in expressing thoughts in writing. It generally includes extremely poor handwriting.
DYSCALCULIA
Dyscalculia is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning facts in mathematics.
-Non-verbal learning disability is a learning disability that originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems in motor skills, visual-spatial organizational skills, and social skills. Weaknesses may include lack of motor coordination and balance, poor visual memory, difficulty with spatial relationships and spatial perception, problems understanding nonverbal social cues such as facial expressions, and difficulty adjusting to transitions. Academically, weaknesses may be seen in mathematical calculation and reasoning, reading comprehension, handwriting, and the ability to learn new information.  Individuals with this disability may have strong verbal skills, auditory memory skills, early speech and language development, increased attention to detail, and average or above-average intelligence.
-Executive functioning refers to problems with attention, memory, impulse control, organization, planning, and hierarchical thinking. They are critical to playing, organizing, and carrying out complex human behavior over long periods of time. One specific component of executive functioning is “working memory,” the ability to hold information in one’s mind while processing and manipulating it. Younger children rely on these abilities to follow a sequence of instructions.
LANGUAGE DISORDERS
Language is used to communicate ideas and express wants and needs.  Speaking, writing, reading, and gestures are all forms of language. A language disorder is an impairment of comprehension or expression of language, including social interaction. Individuals whose language ability is not at the level expected of their age, cognitive ability, or level of language exposure may have a language disorder.  
-Receptive language is the ability to understand spoken language, including comprehension of age-appropriate vocabulary, word meaning, word relationships, and syntactical and grammatical structures.  Children learn language by listening to the spoken language around them and practicing what they hear. They discover the rules of the language code over time. Problems in understanding language will affect almost every aspect of school, including following directions, learning vocabulary, understanding directions, and reading comprehension.
-Expressive language is the ability to convey ideas, wants, and needs in an organized and appropriate manner. The development of oral language normally occurs without formal teaching as a result of exposure to spoken language. Oral language is the foundation for reading and written language. Individuals with expressive language difficulties may have difficulty organizing their thoughts and ideas into spoken or written language, holding a conversation, telling a story, and using different forms of language for different listeners or situations.  
-Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder causes impairment in both the understanding and the expression of language.

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    Houston Language & Learning
    4265 San Felipe St, Ste 1100
    Houston, TX 77027
    Phone: (713) 968-9820
    Email: ewaltmon@comcast.net

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    In Business Since 2009

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