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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, 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 rely entirely on one sensory modality (auditory or visual) in the classroom
  • May have difficulty organizing or synthesizing information
  • May have difficulty picturing mechanical processes or concepts
  • May have difficulty identifying critical information
  • May have difficulty comprehending patterns
  • May have difficulty performing steps in proper order
  • May have difficulty understanding spatial concepts


Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Cognitive) : The necessity for students to implement compensatory strategies because of working and long term memory deficits result in cognitive fatigue.

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 : Students with learning disabilitiees require more time to process incoming information.

Long Term Memory Deficit : Students with learning disabilities experience difficulty retrieving what has already been learned.

Processing Deficit (Auditory) : Students with learning disabilities may struggle with accurately or quickly synthesizing or analyzing auditorially presented information.

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

Sequencing Deficit : Inability to accurately sequence information may result in mistakes.

Working / Short Term Memory Deficit : Working memory deficits make it difficult to retain new information and connect it to what has already been learned.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was 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.