Learning problems

Synonyms in a broader sense

Problems in learning, difficulties in learning, learning difficulties, learning difficulties, learning fear, learning fear, failure fear, failure fear, dyscalculia, arithmetic weakness, dyslexia, reading and writing weakness, reading and writing weakness, LRS.


Learning is the general term for processes that lead to a change in behavior through experience.
While some learning processes can be conditioned, imitation learning (learning through imitation) plays an essential role. Above all, however, learning is also a cognitive process that is carried out consciously and intelligently.
We understand learning problems primarily as those problems that occur in the context of the cognitive process. The following problems often arise in schools:

  • Partial performance weaknesses (dyslexia, dyscalculia)
  • Poor concentration
  • ADD / ADHD

These problems can be complex and, above all, have a wide variety of causes.

Due to the secondary symptoms that learning problems can bring with them (low frustration tolerance, lack of self-confidence up to depression and behavioral problems ...), difficulties arise that affect the child's psyche and the overall situation (family, school, ...) heavily burden.

The International Classification Concept of the World Health Organization (WHO), the ICD - 10, attempts to subdivide developmental and learning disorders. It should be noted at this point that a subdivision as it was made there can be very useful for delimitation, but one must always take into account that causes for problems that occur must never be seen in isolation. This means that - after a differentiation has been made, for example in accordance with ICD - 10 - the accompanying factors affecting the child (family environment - kindergarten / school) should always be taken into account.

International classification concept of the WHO

The concept of the WHO was developed in the 1990s and differentiates between two major developmental disorders.

  • Profound developmental disorders:
    Profound developmental disorders include, for example:
    • The Kanner syndrome (early childhood autism), which usually manifests itself before the age of 3 in the form of developmental deficits (delayed language development), contact disorders or stereotypes (= behavior that is repeated often and / or for a longer period of time) in the form of verbal statements or actions.
    • The Asperger syndrome, which is a severe form of contact disorder that is usually particularly noticeable in boys at school age. This is a special form of autism.
    • The Rett Syndrome. This is a hereditary disease that manifests itself between the 6th month of life and the fourth year of life through a decrease in skull growth. As a result of the decrease, skills that have already been learned are forgotten and serious changes in behavior occur. In contrast to Asperger's syndrome, almost exclusively girls have been recorded with this syndrome so far.
  • Localized developmental disorders:
    This includes performance deficits in relation to individual development areas.
    In contrast to profound developmental disorders, there is generally good intelligence as well as healthy physical and mental development.
    These developmental disorders can manifest themselves in different areas
    • In the field of language
    • In the field of school skills
    • In the area of ​​motor functions
    • In the form of a combination of the different areas


If the current studies are to be believed, the percentage of children who have to repeat a school year due to large school learning deficits or whose application for a special educational review has been made is between 18 and 20%. Since deficits are particularly noticeable in the first two years of school, one of the reasons is that reading and arithmetic are fundamental here, but the children are not always able to follow this learning step.
This can have various causes. However, the question arises - regardless of the underlying cause - whether these problem areas cannot be identified early and, if necessary, their elimination in front Back to school can tackle.
Since these “abnormalities” may have to be seen specifically for the individual learning problems, please read on at the appropriate point.

  • Early detection of dyslexia / poor reading and writing skills
  • Early detection of dyscalculia / weaknesses in numeracy
  • Diagnosis ADS
  • Diagnosis of ADHD
  • Features gifted
  • Early detection of poor concentration


Since human learning has existed since humans began to populate the earth, it can be assumed that there have probably also been learning problems since then.


The causes for the emergence of learning problems are complex and usually there is not ONE cause. Usually the development of a learning disability is linked to unfavorable circumstances, which is why a multi-causal catalog of causes is often assumed.

Depending on the problem, there are different possibilities that could be the cause.
For more detailed information, please click on:

  • Causes of Dyslexia
  • Causes of Dyscalculia
  • Causes of ADD
  • Causes ADHD
  • Causes of giftedness
  • Problems of giftedness
  • Poor concentration

Bullying can also often lead to problems with learning. Therefore, such a learning block should also be clarified as a possible consequence of bullying.

Read more on the topic: Bullying in primary school and learning difficulties in children

Can learning problems be due to a vitamin deficiency?

Vitamins are vital organic compounds that the human body cannot sufficiently produce and therefore have to be taken in through food, for example.

Malnutrition or malnutrition or a disordered intake of vitamins can lead to a vitamin deficiency.
This vitamin deficiency can have different effects on the brain and nerve functions of everyone and thus cause concentration problems, for example, which in turn can lead to learning problems.

For effective learning, healthy and efficient brain and nerve structures are required; accordingly, a vitamin deficiency can have a negative effect on learning behavior and lead to learning problems.

At this point it is also important what role a break plays in the child's concentration. Read more about this at: The school break


Learning difficulties or learning disorders usually manifest themselves in the behavior of the children. It almost always affects the child's behavior, experience and / or personality development.
The extent to which the above-mentioned areas are symptomatically influenced depends on whether learning difficulties are limited in time and thus pass at some point or whether they manifest themselves.

In addition, there is the distinction between whether a child has general weaknesses in the area of ​​learning, i.e. whether the learning problems relate to different areas (e.g. reading and writing weaknesses, arithmetic weaknesses) or whether it is a partial performance disorder (partial performance weakness) such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia acts.

Since we cannot go into all of the symptoms that can be caused by a learning problem at this point, I would like to refer you to the following pages:

  • Symptoms of dyslexia
  • Symptoms of dyscalculia
  • Symptoms of ADD
  • Symptoms of ADHD
  • Characteristics of giftedness
  • Symptoms of poor concentration

Special features of learning problems in adults

In adulthood, people learn differently than at a young age.
This does not necessarily mean that adults learn worse, but completely different learning problems can arise.

Adults have no playful acquisition of skills and knowledge by trying out and performing an activity.
Adults are much more cerebral and cannot uninhibitedly pursue a new activity true to the motto “trial and error”.
In this context, learning problems can also arise from negative learning successes or inhibiting learning experiences from previous years that are emotionally anchored and deeply rooted.

Furthermore, a lack of understanding of the learning material can lead to a learning stop or a learning problem.
This and the skipping of learning steps means that no linear learning takes place, as with a small child.

In addition, the stress of everyday life, such as family care, work, etc., is the cause of learning difficulties in some adults.
The everyday stress and the corresponding worries or fears make the learning process of new things more difficult, because the willingness to accept is reduced by normal life, which goes on in parallel.

As a result, not only the age-related decreasing ability of the brain to memorize content can be responsible for learning problems, but also a lack of learning strategies that adapt to age and life situation.


Measures to be taken diagnostically are always individual, i.e. to be assessed depending on the underlying learning problem.

The following diagnostic measures can be taken:

  • accurate observations
  • Survey of all adults involved in upbringing
  • Determination of intelligence
  • Assessment of spelling skills
  • Assessment of reading ability
  • Assessment of the ability to concentrate
  • Determination of visual perception
  • Determination of the speech perception performance
  • Observation of behavior in stressful situations
  • qualitative error analysis
  • clinical (medical) diagnostics

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnostic surveys are necessary, for example, to differentiate a profound developmental disorder from a specific developmental disorder.
A differential diagnosis must always be made in relation to the individual learning problem. A diagnosis that may be necessary can be found in each category. Here you will find more information:

  • Diagnosis of ADHD
  • Diagnosis of ADD
  • Diagnosing dyslexia
  • Diagnosis of dyscalculia
  • Diagnosis of giftedness
  • Diagnosis of poor concentration
  • Learning disability


Therapeutic measures are specific to the underlying learning problem. From the range of possible forms of therapy, the child must then decide on an individual basis which measures should be taken. This is only possible if the symptoms have been correctly interpreted and diagnosed well.

To find out more about the various therapeutic options for the individual learning problems, simply click on the respective area of ​​interest.

  • Therapy of ADD
  • Therapy of ADHD
  • Therapy for dyslexia
  • Therapy for poor concentration
  • Promotion of giftedness
  • Therapy and help for children and adolescents with behavioral problems
  • Educational assistance - what is it?

Read more on this topic: Learning style

Can homeopathy help with learning problems?

There are many different things on the market to combat learning problems and attention problems, including homeopathy.
Homeopathy is recommended not only by alternative practitioners, but also by alternative doctors for mental support, as it is very well tolerated and has virtually no side effects.

Homeopathy has different effects on each person, so that some people can use it to alleviate their learning problems, while others prefer to use other means.
The rule is that everyone should try homeopathy for themselves and can only determine individually whether it helps or not.
Different globules are available to dampen learning problems, it is always decided individually which one should be taken.

Can osteopathy help with learning problems?

In principle, osteopathy can help with learning problems if they are caused by a limitation of the musculoskeletal system.
In osteopathy, attention is paid to the mobility of the body as a whole and to the proper movement of individual body parts and organ systems as well as their interaction.

If there is no physiological freedom of movement, functional disorders such as headaches or concentration problems occur, which in turn can affect learning behavior.

In summary, it can be said that a learning disorder can occur as a consequence of an osteoplastic problem, but learning problems do not have to or can have a completely different background, so that osteopathy does not help either.