Learning Disabilities

  • Gayle K. DeutschEmail author
  • Robert N. Davis


Learning disability (LD) refers to a condition in which a child fails to develop adequate academic skills, such as reading, writing, or calculation. LDs involve inadequate development of academic skills, rather than representing a loss of previously acquired function, although brain lesions may certainly result in cognitive deficits that affect reading, writing, and calculation (for a review, see Heilman and Valenstein) [1]. Most research on LDs has involved children, who are the focus of this chapter. For a review of LDs in adults, the interested reader is referred to Mapou [2]. In this chapter, we will first present a conceptual overview of LDs and types of LDs. Second, we will offer recommendations on how to effectively triage children who present with academic skill deficits. Third, we will cover some of the fundamental mechanisms involved in LDs that have been identified in neuropsychological and imaging studies. We will conclude by mentioning some recent interventions that appear promising for remediating academic skill deficits among children with LDs.


Fractional Anisotropy Diffusion Tensor Imaging Reading Comprehension Phonological Awareness Word Reading 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Penelope Zeifert, Ph.D., and Peter Karzmark, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, at Stanford University Medical Center for their comments and suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford University Medical CenterStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Houston Neuropsychology Group, PLLCHoustonUSA

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