What is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)?

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) is the umbrella term that covers the range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, most commonly known as:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or AD(H)D)

SpLDs can affect the learning and processing of information, and can therefore have a significant impact on education. As such, specialist support and reasonable adjustments may be required to ensure students with SpLDs are not disadvantaged in their studies.

As with any disability, no two individuals experience the same combination of difficulties. The Wellbeing and Disability Service will consider your individual needs to ensure the most appropriate support is offered to you.

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) offers specialist information on the signs of dyslexia and neurodiversity more widely on the following pages:


Providing evidence and accessing support

To access support for a SpLD, evidence will need to be provided in the form of a full diagnostic assessment report completed by either an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher with a practising certificate. If you already hold evidence of a SpLD please complete a Student Support Form to inform us of your needs and any previous support you have received throughout your education.

If you do not currently have a full diagnostic assessment report, we can provide advice on your options for obtaining this evidence. Please contact the Wellbeing and Disability Service to let us know that you would like further information about the options to be assessed for SpLDs.  

Please see our Wider Support Services page for information about support services already available to students, regardless of a diagnosis of a SpLD.


Exploring a Diagnosis