When we learn our brain has to do three things. Firstly it has to receive information through our various senses (perception). It then has to process, or make sense of, the information (cognition/thinking) and then it has to respond to the information (written or verbal expression, follow instructions, produce appropriate movement, etc.) A learning disability is when something in one or more of these areas is weak or breaks down, hindering our ability to learn.

Many ordinary and famous people have learning disabilities, with intelligence ranging from average to superior. Gifted people with learning disabilities have made great contributions in all walks of life. A list of such people would include Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill and Richard Branson.


Everybody has various strengths and weaknesses. However, a person with a learning disability experiences an imbalance between these areas of strengths and weaknesses that can cause huge frustration. The typical student with a learning disability will be failing in one or more academic area, have to put in a disproportionate amount of effort to achieve success, and will be able to do something one day, but not the next.

To determine this pattern of strength and weakness, and compare this to intellectual ability, a psycho-educational battery of formal and informal tests is used. Testing not only helps identify learning disabilities, but NILD uses testing data to determine the best kind of instruction for each individual child.

Does your child have a learning disability?

A NILD educational therapist can help.