Learning Disability Types

Learning disabilities are more common than you think. Many teens find that they have difficulty concentrating in school or in understanding their homework assignments. Teen learning disabilities can be sources of frustration, and can lead to poor performance in school or lead to dropping out of school altogether. Let’s look at some of the more common teen learning disabilities.


Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects many teens. This is a learning disability in which a teenager has trouble processing language. This includes trouble spelling, reading and writing. Often, the words and letters may appear backward. This makes comprehension quite difficult.


This teen learning disability is characterized by difficulty with math. Dyscalcula is more than the regular challenges with math. It moves into problems with understanding concepts like time and money. Additionally, memorizing math facts and numbers may be difficult. An example of dyscalcula is difficulty counting in ways other than ones, such as counting by fives (5, 10, 15, 20 and so on).


Teens who struggle with dysgraphia experience trouble organizing their ideas. This can make composition very challenging. Organizing papers and essays, as well as understanding how sentences and paragraphs should go together logically is difficult. Additionally, dysgraphia can sometimes be characterized by poor handwriting.


While it may seem unusual to include this as a teen learning disability, dyspraxia can cause problems into the teenage years. This is trouble with motor skills and dexterity. While elementary children are affected because dyspraxia means trouble with handling scissors and creating projects at school. However, teens may experience frustration due to dyspraxia when it comes to completing special science projects at school or doing things on the computer.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is classified as a learning disorder. Teens with this learning disability find it hard to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. They may be easily distracted and find it hard to sit still. When it comes to do homework, teens with ADHD may not be able to concentrate on their assignments. Additionally, distractedness also makes it hard for them to pay attention in class and process information. Lack of focus can contribute to forgetfulness. In addition to the teen learning disabilities listed above, there are also other learning problems that teenagers may experience. These have to do with specific categories of information processing. They are:

  1. Auditory processing, which makes it difficult for teen to learn from listening. It is not the same as hearing impairment. Teens with auditory information learning disabilities have trouble processing what they hear. It can be difficulty in distinguishing sounds, or difficulty in anticipating the way a speaker will end a sentence.
  2. Visual processing is a teen learning disability that refers to processing information that a teenager sees. In such cases, it may be difficult to distinguish letters (an ‘n’ from an ‘r’) from each other.


No matter the teen learning disability, there are ways to learn how to compensate for the problem. With the proper help and techniques, it is possible for teens to learn how to cope with their learning problems and find success in school.

Learning Disability Sources:

  1. “LD at a Glance,” National Center for Learning Disabilities. [Online].