Learning Disability: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

A learning disability refers to a problem with one or more types of learning in a person typically of normal or above average intelligence. Learning disabilities may involve problems with reading, doing math, writing, speaking, listening, or reasoning.

Signs and symptoms of learning disabilities vary widely and depend on the exact type of disability that is present and the degree of severity. Associated symptoms and signs can include

  • problems reading or writing,
  • clumsiness,
  • difficulty paying attention,
  • difficulty with math,
  • poor memory,
  • difficulty telling time,
  • organization difficulties,
  • difficulty following directions, or
  • other learning-related struggles.

Cause of a learning disability

The cause of learning disabilities is likely to be a combination of genetic and environmental influences that cause some people to process information differently.

Other learning disability symptoms and signs

  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Difficulty telling time
  • Difficulty with math
  • Organizational difficulties
  • Poor memory
  • Problems with writing or reading


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.