How can Specific Learning Difficulties affect study at Higher Education?

A combination of any of the below issues will have an impact on your learning and mean that you will have to work harder than others to reach the same place.

You will already have many effective strategies in place that have helped you get this far.

However, study at higher education will stretch your strategies so much that they may no longer work as effectively as they used to, especially as your course progresses. 

Study factors affected by SpLDs


  • Sequencing information, eg alphabetical order or months of the year.
  • Organisation and planning, eg thoughts and ideas, managing workload and time-keeping.
  • Remembering, eg dates, messages, and verbal instructions.
  • Mental maths, eg keeping information in your head and manipulating without forgetting.

Motor control

  • Poor handwriting.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Lack of spatial awareness.
  • Difficulty copying accurately.

Attention and concentration

  • Staying focused.
  • Changing focus.
  • Being fidgety. 

Verbal expression and understanding

  • Sequencing thoughts into words.
  • Word finding.
  • Word pronunciation.
  • Finding background noise distracting.

Time and space

  • Time management.
  • Left/right confusion.
  • Getting lost easily.
  • Mixing up symbols and calculations in numeracy.
Have any of these issues struck a chord with you? Visit ‘How to find out if you have a SpLD' for more information.

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