Specific Learning Disabilities

The specific learning disability (SLD) category covers a specific group of learning challenges. These conditions affect a child’s ability to read, write, listen, speak, reason, or do math. To find information on specific learning disabilities, please click on the topics below:

Auditory Processing Disorder




Language Processing Disorder

Nonverbal Learning Disorder

Visual Processing Disorder

Agents of Their Own Success: Self-Advocacy Skills and Self-Determination for Students With Disabilities in the Era of Personalized Learning
This document explains three policy and action themes developed to ensure that self-advocacy skills and self-determination are woven into learning for all students and supported by a full range of engaged stakeholders.
Publication Date: March 2018
Publisher: National Center for Learning Disabilities

Arizona Department of Education AT Short Term Loan Library
Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services works in partnership with Northern Arizona University Institute for Human Development Arizona Technology Access Program to make available at no cost, a wide variety of assistive technology devices, equipment, software, and professional development materials to school personnel to improve access to assistive technology.
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education

Assistive Technology
This fact sheet uses a focused definition that conceptualizes assistive technology as electronic/computer technology that is used to compensate for specific learning disabilities. The technology may augment task performance in a given area of disability, or it may be used to circumvent or “by-pass” specific deficits entirely.
Prepared by: Marshall Raskind
Publication Date: April 2013
Publisher: Council for Learning Disabilities

Deeper Learning for Students with Disabilities
This report describes research-based instructional strategies that can support students with disabilities and other struggling learners and the kinds of policies and local resources needed to ensure that all young people have meaningful opportunities to learn deeply and become truly prepared to succeed in college, careers, and civic life.
Authors: Sharon Vaughn, Louis Danielson, Rebecca Zumeta, and Lynn Holdheide
Publication date: August 2015
Publisher: Jobs for the Future

Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence
This guide describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of executive function and self-regulation in children.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Executive Function Activities for 5- to 7-year-olds
Games can exercise children’s executive function and self-regulation skills—and allow them to practice these skills—in different ways. This document describes activities for this age level that include card games, board games, physical activities/games, movement/song games, and quiet activities requiring strategy and reflection.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Executive Function Activities for 7- to 12-year-olds
This document describes games that provide challenges and practice for executive function and self-regulation skills among school-age children. For children in this age range, activities include card games, board games, physical activities/games, music, singing, dance, and brain teasers.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Executive Function Activities for Adolescents
During adolescence, executive function skills are not yet at adult levels, but the demands placed on these skills often are. Teenagers need to communicate effectively in multiple contexts, manage their own school and extracurricular assignments, and successfully complete more abstract and complicated projects. This document offers suggestions for helping teens practice better self-regulation throughout the daily challenges they face.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Forward Together
This report identifies experience and insight of general education teachers with students who face learning challenges. These experiences were rooted in rigorous research to frame the challenges in evidence, identify critical mindsets and essential practices, and map a way forward.
Authors: Stacy Galiatsos, Lindsay Kruse, and Meghan Whittaker
Publication Date: May 2019
Publisher: National Center for Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities and Disorders
This article discusses the types of learning disabilities and learning disorders and their signs.
Authors: Gina Kemp, Melinda Smith, and Jeanne Segal
Publication Date: February 2013
Publisher: HelpGuide

Mobile Technology in the Classroom
This research to practice guide provides detailed information for the benefits and barriers to students with learning disabilities using smartphones and tablets for teaching and learning purposes.
Authors: Shobana Musti-Rao and Zachary Walker
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: Council for Learning Disabilities

Provide Options for Executive Functions
The UDL framework typically involves efforts to expand executive capacity by scaffolding lower-level skills so that they require less executive processing and by scaffolding higher level executive skills and strategies so that they are more effective and developed. This guideline specifically addresses ways to provide scaffolding for executive functions.
Publication Date: 2018 Publisher: CAST

Supporting the Emotional Needs of Kids With Learning Disabilities
This article explores the three most common reasons why kids with a learning disability might feel bad, and what to do about them.
Author: Rachel Ehmke
Publisher: Child Mind Institute

Symptoms of Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are a generic set of disorders that have a wide array of behavioral manifestations. This article offers a sampling of these specific disorders and their symptoms.
Author: Rick Lavoie
Publication Date: 2018
Publishers: LD Online

The 10 Essentials to Keep in Mind When Working with Children with LD
This article describes how to effectively understand, manage, and control the behavior of children with learning disabilities through developing and subscribing to a philosophy that you trust and believe in fully.
Author: Rick Lavoie
Publication Date: 2018
Publishers: LD Online

What Is Specific Learning Disorder?
This article defines specific learning disabilities and offers information on diagnosis, types, severity levels, and treatment.
Physician Reviewers: Dr. Latoya Frolov and Dr. Mary Ann Schaepper
Publication Date: August 2021
Publisher: American Psychiatric Association