What Is the Connection between a Learning Disability and Communication?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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A learning disability and communication are connected through a cause and effect relationship. There are many different forms of communications and learning disorders that affect a person’s ability to read, write, hear, and speak properly. Communication disorders and learning disabilities are closely related by how one affects the other.

One connection between a learning disability and communication is with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This disorder begins in childhood and frequently progresses through adulthood into attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADHD causes an inability to focus, pay attention to detail, follow a set of instructions, and control behavior. Communication for a child with ADHD can be difficult. ADHD symptoms can create trouble in school and in relaying information, particularly with completing assignments and having conversations with others.

A learning disability and communication are also related in people with dyslexia. This learning disability causes a problem in a person’s ability to translate images and words. Vision and intelligence are unaffected. Dyslexia creates a problem with how the brain interprets what is being seen or read by distorting the words, often making them backward to people with this disorder. Writing and reading are the aspects of communication affected by dyslexia.


Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a learning disability that occurs in children. This learning disability and communication are related by the symptoms associated with APD. People with this have trouble with sound recognition and interpretation. The brain does not properly process the sounds that are heard. Untreated APD in children affects communication because children do not properly learn how to form words and distinguish sounds, which can cause a language delay.

Receptive and expressive language disorders can be another link between a learning disability and communication. Receptive language disorder causes a problem with understanding language while expressive language disorder is the inability to convey speech properly. Communication relies on the ability to not only understand what is being received but to output as well.

A learning disability and communication affect each other. In order to learn, a person must be able to communicate, but for a person to be able to communicate, learning cannot be hindered. Although a learning disability causes communication problems, people with these disorders can learn how to communicate effectively despite difficulties. In many instances, progress can be made to gradually teach people how to learn and communicate by working on weak areas caused by the disability, such as speech therapy for pronunciation and reading for recognition.


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