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what are Moderate Learning Difficulties?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Moderate learning difficulties, or MLD, refers to a disorder characterized by academic or social deferment. It is typically recognized in school-aged children who do not progress scholastically, or who do not progress as quickly as their peers. Another widely used term for this disability is global learning difficulties.

This moderate learning delay often manifests in youngsters and adults for several reasons. MLD may have psychological features, according to experts. Emotional immaturity is often one of the associated symptoms of moderate learning difficulties. This is not always the case, however. Many individuals with MLD suffer also from disorders such as dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

According to experts, some individuals who are predisposed to moderate learning difficulties develop symptoms from an early age or in infancy. In other cases, these learning difficulties may develop as a result of another condition. Babies who are born prematurely or born to mothers who have a drug dependency may be more likely to be develop MLD. Certain medical conditions may also play a role in the manifestation of moderate learning difficulties.

Not all individuals with MLD possess below-average intelligence. Many people with this disorder have normal intelligence. Learning disabilities can impact everything from how the individual perceives shapes and colors, to poor language skills. In many cases, none of these issues have any bearing on the person's intelligence. The individual may have capabilities, but lack the skills to effectively execute them.

There are exceptions to this, however. Some children and adults affected by MLD have a low intelligence quotient (IQ). While below-average intelligence does not define moderate learning difficulties, this can be a factor in some individuals.

Those who have MLD may also have emotional issues and behavioral problems. Children may show signs of short attention spans and hyperactivity in class. Individuals with autism or Asperger's syndrome may also exhibit moderate learning difficulties.

Global learning difficulties are also associated with conditions such as attention deficit disorder. Individuals suffering from this disorder often have difficulty concentrating. This may impair cognitive abilities and academic progress. Therefore, individuals who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder may also suffer from moderate learning difficulties.

Traumatic brain injuries at birth or in childhood may lead to MLD. Individuals who have cerebral palsy and other conditions of the central nervous system may be affected by moderate learning difficulties. Children and adults who have hearing difficulties may also suffer from MLD.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon139167 — On Jan 03, 2011

The article is very general, sure it would take a large volume to be exhaustive but in my opinion there are 2 major omissions there; 1. Most MLD diagnosed children are apraxia (dyspraxia). 2. Most MLD are actually above average IQ or average IQ.

Conclusion all LD can be improved substantially, providing the correct strategies are used. --Tom J.

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