Some of the most questions we are asked are “what is an SpLD”, “What is dyslexia and dyspraxia?” and “What’s the difference between them?”
The term ‘Specific Learning Difficulty’ (SpLD) refers to a difference or difficulty with particular aspects of learning. The most common of these are dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. An individual may have one of these independently or they can co-exist as part of a wider profile.
Whilst Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) describe frequently occurring patterns of behaviour and abilities, each individual exhibits and experiences the SpLD differently.
It is very important to note that SpLDs are independent of intellectual ability, socio-economics, geographical or linguistic background.
Having a SpLD does not predict academic potential. However, the path to achievement may be more challenging and require a far greater level of (usually unseen) effort.
In an educational environment, such as a school or college, it is up to the staff to understand the specific impact that these differences have on learning and behaviour and to explore a variety of methods and techniques to facilitate optimal learning. This is why a thorough assessment is necessary to determine the pattern of strengths and weaknesses of any student who seems to show signs of an SpLD.