Council for the
Registration of Schools
Teaching Dyslexic Pupils

What are Specific Learning Difficulties

Every parent will be very aware of the challenges children face in school. Whether to join the Drama group, the Chess Club or play on the Football Team can be important questions for a child.

Sometimes parents find there are more difficult questions to face:

  • Why isn’t my child reading as well as other children?

  • Why does my child have difficulties in sport?

The answer might be that a child is coping with a Specific Learning Difficulty – otherwise known as SpLDs. These include Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Disorder and, by assocation, Autism Spectrum Disorder.


The umbrella term “Specific Learning Difficulties” (SpLD), more positively referred to as “Specific Learning Differences”, is used to cover a wide variety of difficulties.

Many people use it synonymously with dyslexia (a difficulty with words), but it is now generally accepted that dyslexia is only one of a group of difficulties which affect the way a person processes information and, therefore, affects their ability to learn. 1, 2, 3


We wanted to give parents a clear picture of the different difficulties children face, we have put together a leaflet which we hope will help. Click here to download.



  1. Visser, J. (2003). Developmental coordination disorder: a review of research on subtypes and comorbidities. Human Movement Science. 2Volume 22 (Issues 4–5), p479–493.
  2. Jeffrey W. Gilger, Ph.D., Bruce F. Pennington, Ph.D., John C. DeFries, Ph.D.. (1992). A Twin Study of the Etiology of Comorbidity: Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Volume 31 (Issue 2), p343–348.
  3. Pauc, R. (2005). Comorbidity of dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome in children: A prospect. Clinical Chiropractic. Volume 8 (Issue 4), p189–198.