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Learning Disability (Not Otherwise Specified)

When a person is diagnosed with a learning disability that is not specified as a reading, writing, or math disability, it is often because the person has a combination of reading, writing, and/or math difficulties. These difficulties are most often symptoms of processing deficits.

A person who has a learning disability not otherwise specified may have deficits in auditory processing, visual processing, speed of processing, or any combination of these. These processing difficulties make it difficult for a student to learn information as efficiently as a student without a learning disability. These processing deficits impact all learning activities.

Observing Learning Disability (Not Otherwise Specified) in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following characteristics in students with a non-specific learning disability:

  • May read at a slower pace than peers
  • May rely entirely on auditory information from class
  • May have difficulty organizing or synthesizing information from text
  • May have difficulty picturing mechanical processes or concepts
  • May be unable to do mental math
  • May have difficulty identifying the critical information for solving word problems
  • May have difficulty visualizing patterns
  • May have difficulty performing steps in proper order
  • May have difficulty understanding spatial concepts
  • May have difficulty drawing or understanding diagrams


Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Cognitive) : Students with learning disabilities experience cognitive fatigue as a result of the of the significant effort required for them to process information whil they employ strategies to facilitate learning.

Fluid Reasoning : Students with fluid reasoning deficits have difficulty with tasks that require steps or where the order of information is critical.

Information Processing Speed : A deficit in information processing speed can impact the ability of a student to efficiently process incoming information in the learning environment.

Long Term Memory Deficit : Students with learning disabilities experience processing deficits that can impair the ability to learn new information or retrieve what has already been learned.

Processing Deficit (Auditory) : When auditory information is not accurately processed all learning processes are effected.

Processing Deficit (Visual) : Students with learning disabilities struggle with accurately or quickly synthesizing and/or analyzing visually presented information.

Sequencing Deficit : The lack of ability to accurately sequence information can case mistakes in tasks.

Working / Short Term Memory Deficit : Working memory deficits impair a student's learning ability because they find it difficult to connect new and old information in memory.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project is funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.