Most associate learning disorders with children, that is probably because most of the people that have learning disorders are children. You see some the different learning disorders can be treated or out grown before the child reaches adulthood. For the sake of things being clearer most of my references to people with these disorders will be children. I will first explain the different types of learning disorders.
I found many different way that learning disorders can be split up but Victoria Point (By: iSyke http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=280) in my opinion broke it down the best. She split it into three different categories: Developmental speech and language disorders, Academic skills disorders, and other. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) Now each of these categories can also be broken down into subcategories. Developmental speech and language disorders can be broken down to: Developmental articulation disorder, Developmental expressive language disorder, and Developmental receptive language disorder. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) Academic skills disorders seem to be noticed as a problem more often because they affect academic performance. It can be broken down to: Developmental reading disorder, Developmental writing disorder, and Developmental arithmetic disorder. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) Other is broken down a little differently, the DSM has two categories listed as “‘motor skills disorders’ and ‘specific developmental disorders not otherwise specified.’” This category also has attention disorders within its borders. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001)
Developmental Articulation Disorder, having this disorder can make it difficult to control the rate of speech or still pronounce words as an infant would. Fortunately this disorder can be treated through speech therapy or sometimes outgrown. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001)
Developmental Expressive Language Disorder, those with this disorder will have difficulties expressing themselves orally. Also someone may call and object or person by the wrong name constantly. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) People with this disorder may also speak in short sentence with simple grammatical structure. (Paul Florsheim, University of Utah, Class Notes 10/15, Psych 3250)
Developmental Receptive Language Disorder, someone with this disorder will have difficulties understanding certain words or sounds. They will hear the word but the brain interprets it wrong, or not at all. Many people with this disorder also have Developmental Expressive Language Disorder since expressing and understanding speech is closely related. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001)
Developmental Reading Disorder, which is also known as Dyslexia, people with this disorder will often have difficulties in separating the different sounds in spoken words, or rhyming words. Those are not the only ways someone can have dyslexia, but they are the most common. Basically any difficulties in any part of the process of reading will be dyslexia. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) at one point reversing letters or words was the main feature of dyslexics, but many do not make this error. (Paul Florsheim, University of Utah, Class Notes 10/15, Psych 3250)
Developmental Writing Disorder, someone who had a writing disorder will usually produce a short and unorganized essay or paper. They also may have difficulties with shapes.
The top picture being someone with a writing disorder attempting to draw a triangle, circle, and a square; the bottom is the same but someone without a writing disorder. (Paul Florsheim, University of Utah, Class Notes 10/15, Psych 3250)
Developmental Arithmetic Disorder, those with this disorder will often have troubles recognizing numbers and symbols, or could have difficulties aligning numbers. (Paul Florsheim, University of Utah, Class Notes 10/15, Psych 3250) I myself do not have this disorder, I have always excelled at arithmetic, yet I sometimes read a price backwards to a customer at work, I am always able to catch this right away though.
Another commonly known learning disorder is ADHD, formally called ADD. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is more common in boys. Children with ADHD are unable to concentrate on one thing for too long and will usually constantly move around. They can become impatient and usually get into trouble with parents or at school. (Victoria Point, for iSyke, 2001) This picture (Paul Florsheim, University of Utah, Class Notes 10/15, Psych 3250) illustrates how behavior problems differ with children that have ADHD and those that do not.
Now we get to the fun part, not all people believe that learning disorders are real. According to The Citizens Commission on Human Rights there is no actual scientific data to support the realism of learning disorders. They say that most doctors will tell a parent that their child has “…a chemical imbalance in the brain which needs to be corrected with medication.” Yet the doctor will rarely do an actual chemical test or a biopsy. They say that these disorders are a way for the drug companies to make more money along with doctors or as they say a “…profit-making industry.” A Towson State University professor Richard Vatz said in The Wall Street Journal in ’94 referring to dyslexia and ADHD, “It relieves children, their parents and teachers of responsibility for misbehavior and incompetence where those are precisely the problems; it justifies claims for special treatment in school and at work; and it provides financial rewards and status for a large population of the mental health and pharmaceutical fields.”
Now you might be asking where do I stand on this subject? I myself believe that there is something wrong with children that have these supposed disorders. I do not necessarily believe that they are disorders. Most young boys are a bit hyperactive, so to classify a young boy as have ADHD I think may be a stretch.