You are hereLearning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities

Understanding Learning Disabilities

Learning disability refers to difficulties with learning skills such as reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and math. One of the most common learning disabilities is dyslexia. Learning disabilities vary from one person to another.1 Exact causes of learning disabilities are unknown, but researchers think several factors could influence learning disabilities. First, since learning disabilities tend to run in families, there could be a genetic component. Second, brain development, both in utero and after birth. Third, environmental impacts, such as exposure to lead, other toxic chemicals, or poor nutrition, may impact learning.2

There are approximately 2.4 million students with learning disabilities, or about 41% of all children receiving special education. Although children with learning disabilities make up a large number of children receiving special education, the number of children diagnosed with a learning disability has declined over the past decade.3

Children who have a learning disability will often have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in school, and may use classroom supports or assistive technology to maximize their potential.4 Classroom supports are varied and include accommodations such as getting pictorial directions or spending additional time with a reading aide. Assistive technology are devices such as recorders or computers that may help the child learn. 

Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources

  • LD Online-LD OnLine offers accurate and up-to-date information about learning disabilities and related issues.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities has useful information on a wide variety of learning disabilities.
  • KidsHealth has information about learning disability signs and causes.
  • The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities has a summary about learning disabilities.
  • CARE-LINE, 1-800-662-7030 (English and Spanish) is the toll-free telephone information and referral help line of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Individuals who are deaf or have a hearing impairment may reach CARE-LINE toll-free at 1-877-452-2514 (TTY).

Advocacy and Social Connections

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Contact a resource specialist at 1.800.852.0042 or at


  1. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (2011). Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from
  2. National Center for Learning Disabilities (2012). Learning disabilities fast facts. Retrieved from
  3. KidsHealth (2012). Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from
  4. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (2011). Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from


The information provided within this website is offered for general informational and referral purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute medical or professional advice. Websites are dynamic and every effort is made to keep up to date. Please email us at to notify us of any new services or features. Click here to view the Central Directory of Resources Disclaimer Policy.

September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month

For more information visit


*** 2014 Summer Camp Directory ***

People First Langauge

People First Language  is a respectful and accurate way of communicating. People with disabilities are not their diagnoses or disabilities; they are people, first. More at