Commonly Used Terms

ADHD is a commonly used term to describe
a disorder that includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour and hyperactivity. Although ADHD is not considered a learning disability, research indicates that from 30-50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, and that the two conditions can interact to make learning extremely challenging.

Asperger Syndrome, also known as Asperger’s disorder or simply Asperger’s.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
Also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder, this is a condition that adversely affects how sound that travels unimpeded through the ear is processed or interpreted by the brain. Individuals with APD do not recognise subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. They can also find it difficult to tell where sounds are coming from, to make sense of the order of sounds, or to block out competing background noises.

Auditory impairment
he official definition of a hearing impairment by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is “an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a person’s educational performance but is not included under the definition of ‘deafness.’”

Autistic Disorder, is a commonly used term, also known as autism, childhood autism, early infantile autism, Kanner’s syndrome or infantile psychosis.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, also known as CDD, dementia infantalis, disintegrative psychosis or Heller’s syndrome.

Downs Syndrome
A congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile.

Dyscalculia
A specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. Individuals with this type of LD may also have poor comprehension of math symbols, may struggle with memorizing and organizing numbers, have difficulty telling time, or have trouble with counting.

Dysgraphia
A specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills. Problems may include illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time.

Dyspraxia
A disorder that is characterised by difficulty in muscle control, which causes problems with movement and coordination, language and speech, and can affect learning. Although not a learning disability, dyspraxia often exists along with dyslexia, dyscalculia or ADHD.

Executive Functioning
An inefficiency in the cognitive management systems of the brain that affects a variety of neuropsychological processes such as planning, organisation, strategising, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. Although not a learning disability, different patterns of weakness in executive functioning are almost always seen in the learning profiles of individuals who have specific learning disabilities or ADHD.

Illiterate
The definition of illiterate is commonly used to describe someone who is unable to read or write, or who is ignorant about a certain subject. An example of illiterate is a description for a person who has never learned to read….for example, people who are from a culture that don’t write down their communication.

Language Processing Disorder
A specific type of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in which there is difficulty attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories. While an APD affects the interpretation of all sounds coming into the brain, a Language Processing Disorder (LPD) relates only to the processing of language. LPD can affect expressive language and/or receptive language.

Linear Thinkers
People who can pass exams but often need the support of a CV and qualifications to create a career. “Linear Thinking” is defined as a process of thought following known cycles or step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.

Memory
Three types of memory are important to learning. Working memory, short-term memory and long-term memory are used in the processing of both verbal and non-verbal information. If there are deficits in any or all of these types of memory, the ability to store and retrieve information required to carry out tasks can be impaired.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
A disorder which is usually characterised by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills. Typically, an individual with NLD (or NVLD) has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language, and may have poor coordination.

People labelled with Psychological Differences.
An ailment or problem having a mental rather than a physical cause affecting, or arising in the mind; related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified), also known as PDD (NOS) or atypical autism.

Physical Impairment
A disability that limits a person’s physical capacity to move, coordinate actions, or perform physical activities. It is also accompanied by difficulties in one or more of the following areas: physical and motor tasks, independent movement; performing daily living functions.

Third Culture
A third culture individual (TCI) are terms used to refer to children raised in a culture other than their parents’ (or the culture of the country given on the child’s passport, where they are legally considered native) for a significant part of their early development years.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A disorder that affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy. A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD, it can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.

Visually impaired

This is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces a person’s ability to function at certain or all tasks.