Learning Disability Glossary

You’ve probably heard different terms referring to your or your child’s learning disability or attention disorder. We want to break it down for you, so you can become more familiar.

Get to know your learning disability with our learning disability glossary.  


A mental disorder characterized by problems like paying attention, hyperactivity and difficulty controlling behavior. This often leads to learning and behavior problems at school or home.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), this disorders affects the way the brain processes auditory information. This leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds.


Seen as the mathematical equivalent to dyslexia, this disorder is a difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic. Those with Dyscalculia have difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, performing mathematical calculations and learning facts in mathematics.


This is a transcription disability and writing disorder associated with impaired handwriting. It is characterized as a learning disability of written expression when one’s writing skills are below those expected given a person’s age.


Also known as a reading disorder, it is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. This may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, sounding out words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads.

Language Processing Disorder

A specific type of Auditory Processing Disorder, a Language Processing Disorder relates only to the processing of language. It can be described as having difficulty understanding what you hear and expressing what you want to say.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities

This disorder impacts the ability to learn from and use nonverbal information. Characterized by a discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills, it includes having trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit

A disorder that affects the understanding of information a person sees or the ability to draw or copy. This includes missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggling with cutting, holding pencil too tightly or poor eye/hand coordination.

Executive Functioning

While this is not a learning disability, it is seen in people who have specific learning disabilities or ADHD. This affects neuropsychological processes like planning, organization, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.



Students with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. While learning disabilities are incurable, the LEAD Foundation exists to help students learn about their learning disabilities and how to advocate for themselves. You can get more information on our program at LEAD in SCHOOL PROGRAM.