• ICCONS, Kavalappara, Shoranur, Palakkad-679523, Kerala (0466) 2224869
  • ICCONS, Pulayanarkotta, Thuruvikkal PO, Trivadrum - 695011, Kerala (0471) 2440232, 2447729
  • icconssrr@gmail.com

Learning Disabilities - Definition of Problem

  • The definition provided in US federal code (Section 300.7(c) (10) of 34 CFR Parts 300 and 303) :

    (i) General. The term means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

    (ii) Disorders not included. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, of motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

  • The definition provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorder fourth edition Text Revised(DSM- IV-TR)

    The section of Learning Disorder include Reading Disorder, Mathematics Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression and Learning Disorder Not otherwise specified

      • Diagnostic criteria for Reading Disorder

    • A. Reading achievement as measured by individually administered Standardized tests of reading accuracy or comprehension, is substantially below that expected given the person’s chronological age, measured intelligence and age-appropriate education.
    • B. This disturbance in criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills.
    • C. If a sensory deficit is present, the reading difficulties are in excess of those usually associated with it.

      • Diagnostic criteria for Mathematics Disorder

    • A. Mathematical ability as measured by individually administered standardized tests, is substantially below that expected given the person’s chronological age ,measured intelligence, and age- appropriate education.
    • B. The disturbance in Criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require mathematical ability.
    • C. If a sensory deficit is present, the difficulties in mathematical ability are in excess of those usually associated with it.

      • Diagnostic criteria for Disorder of written Expression

    • A. Writing skills, as measured by individually administered Standardized tests(or functional assessments of Writing skills) are substantially below that expected given the person’s chronological age, measured intelligence and age-appropriate education.
    • B. The disturbance in Criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require the composition of written texts(eg: writing grammatically correct sentences and organized paragraphs).
    • C. If a sensory deficit is present, the difficulties in mathematical ability are in excess of those usually associated with it.
  • International classification of mental and behavioural disorders-10 [ICD-10]

    Specific Developmental Disorders of Scholastic Skills

      • F81.0 Specific reading disorder

    • A. Either (1) or (2):
      • (1) A score on reading accuracy and/or comprehension that is at least 2 standard errors of prediction below the level expected on the basis of the child's chronological age and general intelligence; with both reading skills and IQ assessed on an individually administered test standardized for the child's culture and educational system.
      • (2) A history of serious reading difficulties, or test scores that met criteria A (1) at an earlier age, plus a score on a spelling test that is at least 2 standard errors of prediction below the level expected on the basis of the child's chronological age and IQ.
    • B. The disturbance in A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills.
    • C. Not directly due to a defect in visual or hearing acuity, or to a neurological disorder.
    • D. School experiences within the average expectable range (i.e. there have been no extreme inadequacies in educational experiences).
    • E. Most commonly used exclusion criterion: IQ below 70 on an individually administered standardized test.


      • F81.1 Specific spelling disorder

    • A. A score on a standardized spelling test that is at least 2 standard errors of prediction below the level expected on the basis of the child's chronological age and general intelligence.
    • B. Scores on reading accuracy and comprehension, and on arithmetic, that are within the normal range (+ 2 standard deviations from the mean).
    • C. No history of significant reading difficulties.
    • D. School experience within the average expectable range (i.e. there have been no extreme inadequacies in educational experiences).
    • E. Spelling difficulties present from the early stages of learning to spell.
    • F. The disturbance in A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require spelling skills.
    • G. Most commonly used exclusion criterion: IQ below 70 on an individually administered standardized test.


      • F81.2 Specific disorder of arithmetical skills

    • A. A score on a standardized arithmetic test that is at least 2 standard errors of prediction below the level expected on the basis of the child's chronological age and general intelligence.
    • B. Scores on reading accuracy and comprehension, and on spelling that are within the normal range (+ 2 standard deviations from the mean).
    • C. No history of significant reading or spelling difficulties.
    • D. School experience within the average expectable range (i.e. there have been no extreme inadequacies in educational experience).
    • E. Arithmetic difficulties present from the early stages of learning arithmetic.
    • F. The disturbance in A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require mathematical skills.
    • G. Most commonly used exclusion criterion: IQ below 70 on an individually administered standardized test.


      • F81.3 Mixed disorder of scholastic skills

      This is an ill-defined, inadequately conceptualized (but necessary) residual category of disorders in which both arithmetical and reading or spelling skills are significantly impaired, but in which the disorder is not solely explicable in terms of general mental retardation or inadequate schooling. It should be used for disorders meeting the criteria for F81.2 and either F81.0 or F81.1.

      • F81.8 Other developmental disorders of scholastic skills

      • F81.9 Developmental disorder of scholastic skills, unspecified

      This category should be avoided as far as possible and should be used only for unspecified disorders in which there is a significant disability of learning that cannot be solely accounted for by mental retardation, visual acuity problems, or inadequate schooling.