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Learning disability is a condition where in individual's performance in reading, Mathematics or written expression is substantially below the expected age, schooling and level of intelligence.

The term 'Specific learning disability' means a condition in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in the process of learning. These processes are

(a) Attention

(b) Perception

(c) Memory

(d) Language.

It can also be a combination of the above. The term Learning disability does not include children who have learning problems, which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

They are manifested as difficulty in learning to develop.

(a) Reading Skills – DYSLEXIA

(b) Writing Skills – DYSGRAPHIA

(c) Arithmetic – DYSCALCULIA

These may manifest individually or in combination. LD is manifested despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio- cultural opportunity.

The fact that Dyslexia tends to cluster in certain families has been known for many years. Familial transmission for Dyslexia has been well documented. Transmission of Dyslexia in these families followed an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance i.e. inheritance of a single copy of a specific allele (a kind of gene) is sufficient to cause Dyslexia. The prevalence of unexpected reading failure in males than in females proposes that the condition may be caused by a recessive allele carried in the x chromosome. Non-genetic factors like focal cortical dysgenesis and disarrays in the layered pattern of the brain's surface are also known to cause Dyslexia.

Although genetic predispositions, Perinatal injury and various neurological conditions may be associated with the development of LD the presence of such conditions does not invariably lead to genesis of LD and there are many individuals with LD who have no such history. Learning Disabilities are however, frequently found in association with a variety of general medical conditions (eg. lead poisoning, foetal alcohol syndrome or fragile X syndrome).

The indications of LD: -

A marked discrepancy between ability and the standard of work being produced.

A persistent or severe problem with spelling, even with easy or common words.

Difficulty with comprehension as a result of slow reading speed.

Poor short-term memory, especially where information is language based, which results in insufficient processing into long term memory.

Difficulty with organization and classification of data.

Note taking may present problems due to spelling difficulties, poor short term memory and poor listening skills.

Handwriting may be poor and unformed, especially when writing under pressure.Students often show a lack of fluency in expressing ideas and with vocabulary.

Following are the features to identify a child with LD at an early age?

A child with LD :

Shows clumsiness.

Becomes rigid and inflexible.

Is poor at copying from the black board.

Is restless or a daydreamer.

Is quiet in class but does not learn.

Cannot remember the sequence of letters in the alphabet, day, year and /or the season.

Does not remember what he sees. Can add and multiply but has difficulty subtracting.

Skips or adds words when reading.

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