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Learning disorder (DSM V)


1. A group of disorders characterized by difficulties in learning basic academic skills (currently or by history), that are not consistent with the person's chronological age,

educational opportunities, or intellectual abilities. Basic academic skills

refer to accurate and fluent reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Multiple sources of information are to be used to assess learning, one of which must be an individually administered, culturally appropriate, and psychometrically sound

standardized measure of academic achievement.

2. The disturbance in criterion A, without accommodations, significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require these academic



  • No previous general criteria for learning disorders.
  • Learning disorders interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following academic skills: oral language, reading, written language, mathematics. These disorders affect individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking or reasoning. As such, Learning Disorders are distinct from Intellectual Developmental Disorder.
  • However, the diagnostic criteria do not depend upon comparisons with overall IQ and are consistent with the change in the USA’s reauthorized IDEA regulations (2004)which state that: “the criteria adopted by the State must not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, as defined in 34 CFR 300.8(c)(10).”
  • The Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified category may be coded under this super-ordinate category of Learning Disorder.

This disorder is not listed in DSM-IV. DSM-IV disorders subsumed under learning disability include: Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

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