University of Bath

Teaching students with specific learning difficulties and disabilities

Common specific learning difficulties and disabilities and how to support students affected by them.

Types of common specific learning difficulties


Dyslexia affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. This can have an impact on literacy, mathematics, memory, organisation and sequencing skills. Dyslexia can happen at any level of intellectual development. It is neurological in origin and can run in families.

Download the dyslexia factsheet.


Dyspraxia is related to motor skills development. It is a specific form of a developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The most common sign of dyspraxia is difficulty with coordination. It can also lead to problems with organisation, memory, concentration, listening and sometimes speech.

Download the dyspraxia factsheet.


Students with dysgraphia have difficulty putting their thoughts on paper. They may also have poor handwriting. Students can spend so much time on the physical process of writing that they can lose track of what they want to write.

Download the dysgraphia factsheet.


Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty related to general numeracy, arithmetic and mathematical skills. It affects people in different ways.

Download the dyscalculia factsheet.


Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are names for different symptoms related to attention deficit behaviours. The symptoms of ADD are mainly the same as those of ADHD but without the hyperactivity component.

Find out more about ADD/ADHD implications for study.