Learning disabilities are differences in a person’s brain that can affect how well they read, write, speak, do math, and handle other similar tasks. Different groups may define “learning disability” differently, often depending on the focus of the organization.
Having a learning disability, or even several disabilities, isn’t related to intelligence. It just means that the person’s brain works differently from others. In many cases, there are interventions—treatments—that can help a person with learning disabilities read, write, speak, and calculate just as well or better than someone without these disabilities.
NICHD and other federal agencies are looking into what causes these disabilities, how to identify them, and ways to treat them. The institute also studies typical learning processes and the effectiveness of different treatments for learning disabilities.