Learning disabilities in school children are characterized by a significant difference in achievement as compared to his or her overall intelligence. While quite normal, even above average or exceptional in many respects, children with learning disabilities tend to interpret differently what they see or hear. They are often oriented differently to relationships in space and time, and may show poor coordination, lapses of memory, and disorganized thinking. Although neurological tests, as a rule, show no abnormalities, these children are often far behind their age peers in reading, spelling, writing, and math.

Children whose educational needs are not being met often experience lives of frustration, confusion, and unwarranted failure. Many reach a point of being dysfunctional in a traditional classroom or special education program. They are often angry at the system, for it seems they fail no matter how hard they try. Some give up and just stop working. Without appropriate educational intervention, the prospects are very slim for children with learning disabilities successfully completing school and living fulfilling lives as productive citizens.

The bitter irony is that, despite the inability of these children to perform well in conventional school programs, they are typically neither lazy nor not intelligent. In fact, they are often quite bright, gifted with unique talents, and very eager to learn. The problem is not that they are unable to learn traditional school and social skills, but that they can't learn them in the traditional way.