What are SLD's?

Specific Learning Difficulties are also called Learning Disabilities. Some better known specific learning difficulties are;

Dyslexia - difficulty in reading, spelling and written language

Dysgraphia - difficulty with writing

Dyscalculia - difficulty with mathematics

People with SLDs do not all have the same type of problems. However, most will have a number of the characteristics listed below:

• average or above average general ability

• poor reading, spelling, writing or mathematics, or uneven achievement across the curriculum

• difficulty copying or writing things down

• poor handwriting

• take longer than other children to finish written work

• history of speech and language difficulties

• trouble remembering times tables

• difficulty learning to tell the time and/or a weak concept of time

• a poor memory for oral instructions

• trouble following a line of print

• easily distracted

• fidgety

• difficulty concentrating

• poor organisational skills

• family history of similar problems

Recognising Specific Learning Difficulties

People with specific learning difficulties (SLD's) have strengths in some areas and unexpected weaknesses in others such as:

• they may have difficulty learning to read, spell and write but cope with maths

• they may struggle with written language but are good at oral language

• they may have problems with number skills (eg times tables)

People living with SLD's are often misunderstood and mistakenly seen as lazy, lacking in ability or poorly motivated. Having an SLD does not affect a person's general intelligence.

Early recognition, assessment and management

Early recognition is important so that appropriate educational assistance may be provided. If the student’s learning difficulty is undetected or ignored during the early years of schooling, the burden of failure and frustration may contribute to secondary problems such as low self esteem, and emotional and behavioural problems. these make the situation harder for the student, their parents and teachers.


Find out more about dyslexia including support and accommodations.

Discover more


Information about difficulties with maths 

Discover more


What to do if your child experiences difficulties with writing

Discover more

Support for adults

Talk to an expert for individualised advice.

Discover more

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Be the first to know the latest news, including workshops and training updates.