Although learning disabilities are as individual as thumbprints, most fall into three basic categories: dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. However, people with learning disabilities might experience weaknesses in one, two or even all three of these areas.


“Dys” means difficulty with and “lexia” means words – thus “difficulty with words”. Although the term “Dyslexia” originally referred to having difficulty in learning to read, it is now used as a general term referring to a broad category of language deficits.

Difficulties are often experienced in hearing and manipulate sounds in words as well as with the ability to read and spell words accurately and fluently. Not only do dyslexics struggle to read, but they also experience difficulties with comprehension and tend to develop vocabulary at a rate slower than their peers.

For more information on Dyslexia go to What is Dyslexia?


“Dys” means difficulty with and “graphia” means writing – thus “difficulty with writing”.   People with dysgraphia struggle with the mechanics of writing. This usually manifests as extremely poor handwriting, but also includes other difficulties with the written expression such as the thinking skills necessary for vocabulary retrieval, clarity of expression and grammar. Holding information in the memory whilst writing it down can also be extremely challenging.


“Dys” means difficulty with and “calculia” means calculations and mathematics – thus “difficulty with calculations and mathematics”. A person with dyscalculia has poor number sense and does not understand early number concepts.

For example, although people with dyscalculia may be able to count fluently, they will often not understand that when we count we are ‘adding one’, or that 12 is less than 15. These weaknesses result in difficulties with maths calculations and maths reasoning, resulting in illogical and impossible answers.

Does your child have a learning disability?

A NILD educational therapist can help.