Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)

Specific Learning Difficulties affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually run in families and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.


SpLD is an umbrella term used to cover a range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, most commonly known as:



As with any disability, no two individuals experience the same combination of difficulties and some people may exhibit signs of more than one SpLD.


Some common characteristics of SpLDs:


  • Memory difficulties.
  • Organisational difficulties.
  • Writing difficulties.
  • Visual processing difficulties.
  • Reading difficulties.
  • Auditory processing difficulties.
  • Time management difficulties.
  • Sensory distraction: an inability to screen out extraneous visual or auditory stimuli.
  • Sensory overload: a heightened sensitivity to visual stimuli and sound; an inability to cope with busy environments.


Information taken from British Dyslexia Association & Student Loans Company

Useful links


Developmental Dyscalculia, like dyslexia, is one of a family of specific learning difficulties.

What is Dyscalculia? Signs of Dyscalculia