Orton-Gillingham Training

5 Most Common Learning Disabilities Which Affect Reading Comprehension

A learning disability is a condition that may affect your literacy skills and ability to focus on a traditional learning context and your life beyond academics. An individual with a learning difficulty may require more time to read a comprehension passage or complete assignments. The processing problem is neurologically based and can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading and writing. It can also affect higher-level skills such as abstract reasoning, time planning, organization skills, short or long-term memory, and attention.

Individuals can benefit from classroom accommodations and strategy instructions such as the ability to take notes using a computer or reading materials delivered in special fonts. A learning disability can also affect an individual beyond the academics as it influences your relationship with friends, family and colleagues at work. In this article, we will be looking at five common learning disabilities, which affect reading comprehension.


Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)


Children and adults suffering from attention deficit hyperactive disorder have difficulties paying attention for a long time. They can become fidgety, have poor impulse control and even deliver messy written work. They also find it difficult to read a long comprehension passage because they find it boring the harder they try to pay attention. It is usually difficult to notice when a learner with ADHD is not paying attention until he or she is asked to answer simple questions from the comprehension they have just read.

Poor performance and incomplete assignments may also result from attention deficit hyperactive disorder. In some instances, a student with such learning disability may be told he or she is not trying hard enough because they cannot read comprehension, follow directions, or stay on a particular task.




Dyslexia is another common learning disability that may affect reading comprehension. Although there are many types of dyslexia, phonological dyslexia is the most common type, which affects the way an individual breaks down words into their component parts. Apart from writing and spelling difficulties, dyslexia can also cause problems for decoding in reading. Most students who suffer from this learning disability experience problems with reading, assessments, and note taking. Because of this reason, most of them may fall behind their peers on various aspects that pertain reading. Some of the main symptoms of dyslexia include difficulties learning and rhyming new words, making links between sounds and letters and confusing short words such as the, and, but, etc.




Dysphasia is a language learning disability that affects the understanding of spoken language. The signs of language-based disability include problems with verbal language, fluency of speech, inability to retell a story or difficulties understanding the meaning of words. It may be difficult to know if a person is suffering from dysphasia unless they read a comprehension aloud for other people to hear. Although they can silently read a comprehension for themselves, they may have problems with verbal language since this condition affects their fluency of speech.

Visual and Auditory Processing Disorder


The eyes and ears are essential as they help deliver information to the brain. Receptive language and auditory processing skills is the ability to hear well. If you cannot hear things correctly, this can affect your ability to read, write and spell basic words. Inability to differentiate between precise differences in sound makes it difficult to understand the primary concepts of reading as well as sounding out words. Problems associated with visual perception include reversing letters and skipping lines or words. Apart from reading comprehension, visual perception can also affect your math and fine motor skills.




Autism is a pervasive development disorder that may affect mastering certain academic skills. Children or adults suffering from autism may have trouble learning basic skills, communicating and reading body language. This becomes a major problem in a classroom context, which involves learning primary skills such as reading, writing and speaking. Apart from learning basic skills, children with autism may have trouble making eye contact and making new friends, as they prefer to solve most problems on their own.

Short term, long term, and working memory are essential in the processing of verbal and non-verbal information. In case you have any deficits in these types of memory, your ability to store, process and retrieve information will be impaired making it difficult to learn primary skills such as reading, writing and speaking. Individuals who suffer from the above learning disabilities should be handled in a special way so that they cannot feel neglected. Some of the ways you can help them include delivering reading material in special fonts, and allowing them more time for reading comprehension and completing assignments.

If you suspect that your child may have one of the above learning disabilities or that your child struggles with reading comprehension, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your child for an evaluation so that you can be sure.