- are rarely simple, there is normally additional complexity associated with the condition,
- can be isolating and reduces confidence and self esteem,
- can make life problematic for a person to learn as quickly or, more relevantly, in the same way, as others.
- are not indicative of cognition or intelligence level, only indicative of the need for alternative ways in which to learn.
- cannot be 'fixed' or 'cured', only managed,
- make people face unique challenges that last their entire lifetime.
Interventions may be used to help the individual learn or develop strategies that will foster their future success.
The causes of learning difficulties are not always well understood and not always apparent but selectively, some are;
- Common Causes of Learning Difficulties
- How Psychotherapy Can Help with Learning Difficulties
- Learning Difficulties in the DSM
Learning difficulties range from mild, through varying degrees of complexity, to severe but, given support and understanding, people with learning difficulties can and do, lead very normal lives.
Many people with learning difficulties go on to hold very intellectually demanding positions and function at a very high level in our progressive societies.
Some causes of neurological impairments include:
• Accident in baby or childhood - may be caused by malnutrition, head injury or toxic exposure
• Heredity or Genetics - Certain conditions may run in the family
• Poverty - may be a result of a lack of parental reinforcement or affordability of support from specific medical or academic sources
• Problems during pregnancy and/or birth - may result from fetal exposure to alcohol or drugs, oxygen deprivation, anomalies developed in the brain, low birth weight, injury or illness or premature or prolonged labour
One major factor for many people who face learning difficulties is that they are unable to express their feelings easily in words and their actions may have to speak for them.
Their behaviour and moods may change and their inability to express themselves may result in depression, sadness, anxiety and other mental health issues, which are generally treated separately from the underlying condition.
A more 'holistic' view is always more beneficial to the management of your health and welfare and is particularly important in managing learning difficulties.
Can Psychotherapy Help with Learning Difficulties
A diagnosis of any learning difficulty may be potentially devastating to a person and their family.
Both the person who faces learning difficulties and their family members will need to learn coping skills for the difficulty as well as emotionally.
Stress associated with learning difficulties can accumulate which may make the coping process even more difficult and the selection of coping strategies inappropriate.
Learning difficulties are most often present over an entire lifetime, so learning effective and appropriate methods of coping are essential to successful management.
Psychotherapy and the teaching of behavioural strategies or techniques, often work best for individuals who struggle with learning difficulties.
For children, play therapy may be helpful if the therapist uses it to teach interaction techniques. Children and adults may also do well in therapy and most will benefit from joining a mutual support group.