‘Specific learning differences’ (SpLDs) are natural variations in the way the brain develops, leading to some individuals perceiving the world and processing information in a relatively unusual way.
The most common SpLDs are dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, AD(H)D and autism, although the term can also be extended to include other conditions such as Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder and even Prosopagnosia.
A SpLD is not necessarily a difficulty in itself, although people who have SpLDs often do experience barriers in terms of functioning within the constraints of our society. A person who is identified as having one SpLD often has traits of others, to greater or lesser degrees. However, the exact degree of co-occurrence in any individual is hard to measure precisely because of the overlap of common characteristics.