Learning Disabilities In Adults

Learning Disabilities In Adults

Learning disabilities are a common problem faced by about 10-15% of adults. Two categories of this disability are specific or general learning disabilities. Some other terms that are used for learning disabilities are learning difficulties, mental retardation, and intellectual disability. This problem is half as common in girls as in boys.

General or comprehensive learning disabilities can be caused by various reasons such as:-

  • Chromosomal or genetic disorders (e.g. Down syndrome)
  • Abnormal brain formation and development
  • Complications during early childhood, or during birth, or even during pregnancy may be a cause of brain damage.
  • Endocrine hormone disorders (eg hypothyroidism)
  • Certain medical problems (eg uncontrolled epilepsy, autism, ADHD)
  • Environmental factors (eg lead poisoning, malnutrition)

Sensory impairment (vision or hearing) can also contribute to learning disabilities. However, the true cause of learning disabilities may not be identified in the majority of cases of adults having this issue.

Comparatively some specific learning disabilities like dyslexia occur in individuals having unexpected difficulties in reading. They have all the necessary prerequisites for learning such as intelligence, motivation, and schooling that are considered necessary to enable them to read accurately and fluently. Often they also have other problems such as writing, spelling, and counting.

According to research, the frequency of special learning disabilities of first-year adults (dyslexia) was 4.25%.

Signs and Symptoms of learning disabilities in adults

General Learning/Intellectual Disabilities

  • Delays in many aspects of early development (such as walking, speech, socializing with other children, or self-management).
  • Some adults have vision or hearing problems.
  • Learning disabilities can usually be detected in kindergartens such as problems learning letters, numbers, and colors.
  • Either not be paying attention in class activities it may be being too much active.
  • Maybe having some seizures, abnormal head size, or unusual facial features.

Special Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia)

  • Early childhood development is usually normal.
  • May have a history of speech delay, difficulty with singing songs, and difficulty remembering words.
  • Some individuals may be less focused or alert.
  • Learning problems may be detected in kindergarten.
  • Avoid reading or writing assignments.
  • May have short-term memory impairment.
  • Many of them may eventually be able to read but can’t help in fluency.
  • Understanding something is better through listening than reading.
  • Cognitive functions such as inference abilities, vocabulary, and abstract thinking are comparable to peers.
  • Some of them excel in artistic assignments such as painting, sports, or drama.

Some of the issues faced by adults having dyslexia:-

  • Difficulty in reading, copying, selling, or writing some simple letters or words
  • Errors in the order of letters or syllables
  • Reversal of the images of some letters like ‘d’ and ‘b’, ‘q’ and ‘p’,
  • Confusion with certain letters such as ‘m’ and ‘n’ / ‘w’, ‘j’ and ‘g’
  • Confusion between spelling or pronunciation in reading or writing.

Complications due to learning disabilities in adults

  • Poor academic performance.
  • Feelings of inferiority.
  • Refusal to go to school.
  • Emotional and behavioral problems cause them to be often mistaken for ‘careless’, ‘lazy’, and ‘stupid’.
  • Social problem.

learning disabilities in adults

Treatment of learning disabilities in adults

  • There is no specific medical treatment for dyslexia except for those with specific medical problems (such as epilepsy, hypothyroidism, ADHD).
  • However, all of them need appropriate educational support and rehabilitation.


  • There is no specific prevention for most cases.
  • Inject rubella before pregnancy.
  • Screening for HIV and syphilis during pregnancy.
  • Pregnant mothers are advised not to smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs.
  • Early detection and rehabilitation process from some rehabilitation centers is important to help academic achievement in school according to the level of intellectual ability of the individual while helping social and emotional problems.Recovery / Concentration

General Guidelines

If you feel any learning disability, please start an initial assessment to trace the cause so it can be treated.

  • Enroll yourself in an appropriate early intervention program if you have a specific medical problem such as Down syndrome, autism, or cerebral palsy.
  • Individuals with learning disabilities need extra attention.
  • Aim for high but realistic academic achievement.
  • Don’t forget about your abilities and love yourself.
  • Most adults need ongoing learning support and are best provided in a special education setting.
  • Some individuals can pursue mainstream education well through inclusive or rehabilitative programs.
  • Close cooperation and good relations with people are essential.
  • Special Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia)
  • Early assessment and support are essential.
  • Teaching at an early stage using syllable-based techniques proved effective.
  • In some individuals, focusing on just one or two languages can help to reduce stress and frustration.
  • Identify their strengths and give encouragement.
  • Many of them can benefit from special education with the Dyslexia Special Rehabilitation Program.
  • Giving extra time for different tasks can help them.
  • Some may need the help of others in some tasks.

Best Learning disabilities treatment in Islamabad

Islamabad Psychiatric Clinic and Rehabilitation Center offers the best treatment for learning disorder/ disability in Islamabad. A team of highly qualified experienced and best psychiatrists in Islamabad are there to help you. Our vision is to help the ones who are in need of it.

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