How to Overcome Learning Difficulties, Diagnosis, Causes and Understanding


Learning difficulties are a symptom that appears in students who are characterized by low learning achievement or below the established norms .

A learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding and using spoken or written language.

Learning difficulties refer to a group of difficulties that are manifested in the form of marked difficulties in the proficiency and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or math skills.

Blassic and Jones said that learning difficulties indicate that there is a distance between the expected academic achievement and the academic achievement achieved by students (actual achievement). In other words , students are said to have learning difficulties if the learning achievement achieved is not in accordance with their intelligence capacity.

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According to Syaiful Bahri Djamarah, learning difficulties are a condition where students cannot learn properly, due to threats, obstacles or disturbances in learning.

Learning difficulties appear as a condition of marked disability in people who have average to superior intelligence in various conditions. These conditions can affect self-esteem, education, work, socialization or all daily activities.

Various kinds of student learning difficulties include a very broad understanding, including

1. Learning disorder is a condition in which a person's learning process is disrupted due to conflicting responses. Basically, those who experience learning disorders, their basic potential is not harmed, but their learning is disrupted or hampered by conflicting responses, so that the learning outcomes they achieve are lower than their potential.

2. Learning dysfunction is a symptom where the learning process carried out by students does not function properly, even though the student does not actually show any mental subnormalities, sensory disturbances, or other psychological disorders.

3. Underachievers are students who actually have a level of intellectual potential that is above normal, but their learning achievement is low.

4. Slow learners or slow learners are students who are slow in the learning process, so it takes longer than a group of other students who have the same level of intellectual potential.

5. Learning disabilities or learning disabilities refer to symptoms where students are unable to learn or avoid learning, so that learning outcomes are below their intellectual potential.

Broadly speaking, learning difficulties can be classified into two groups:

a. Developmental learning disabilities, including motor and perceptual disorders, language and communication learning difficulties, and learning difficulties in adjusting to social behavior as well as problem solving.

b. Academic learning disabilities, refers to the failure to achieve academic achievement in accordance with the expected capacities such as reading, writing and mathematics.

For example, to be able to master math problems in the form of stories, a child must first master the ability to read and understand. To be able to read, a person must have developed the ability to discriminate visually and auditively, as well as the ability to focus attention.

Students' learning difficulties are indicated by the presence of certain barriers to achieving learning outcomes, and can be psychological, sociological, or physiological. These obstacles cause student achievement to be below what it should be.


Overcoming learning difficulties, cannot be separated from the factors of learning difficulties. Many solutions are offered by various parties in overcoming learning difficulties. According to Tadjab, the steps to overcome learning difficulties are as follows :

1. Data Collection

To find the source of the causes of learning difficulties, a lot of information is needed. To obtain this information, it is necessary to hold a direct observation called data collection.

2. Data Processing The

data that has been collected is then processed carefully. In data processing steps that can be taken include :

a. Case identification

b. Comparing between cases

c. Comparing with test results

d. Drawing conclusions

3. Diagnosis

Diagnosis is a decision (determinant) regarding the results of data processing. This diagnosis can be in the form of the following :

a. Decisions regarding the type of child's learning difficulties (severe and mild).

b. Decisions regarding the factors that contribute to the cause of learning difficulties.

c. Decisions regarding the main factors causing learning difficulties.

4. Pragnosis

Prognosis means "prediction". What has been determined in the diagnosis stage, will be the main basis in formulating and setting predictions regarding what assistance should be given to him to help overcome the problem.

5. Treatment

Treatment here means providing assistance to the child in question (who has learning difficulties) in accordance with the program that has been prepared at the prognostic stage. Forms of treatment that may be given for example group tutoring, individual tutoring and others.

6. Evaluation

Evaluation is here to find out whether the treatment that has been given is working well, meaning that there is progress, or even failure at all. If it turns out that the treatment given does not work, then a re-check is held.

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Possible ways to overcome learning difficulties according to the nature of the problem:

a. If the weakness is comprehensive and stems from:

1. The curriculum and teaching system, it is necessary to hold a special teaching program as an enrichment until the basic skills and learning patterns of students are fulfilled and mastered.

2. Evaluation system, it is necessary to conduct a review and develop an educative assessment system that can excite students.

3. Conditional factors, then the required basic teaching and learning components (books, laboratories, etc.) need to be fulfilled.

b. If the weakness is only segmental and sectoral in certain parts, which may originate from:

1. Teaching and learning methods, it will be easy to take remedial teaching in groups, both in the class as a whole or in small groups.

2. Assessment system, it is necessary to make adjustments to the system that is commonly applied in the school concerned.

3. The appearance and attitude of the teacher, it is necessary to change the teacher.

Ways to overcome learning difficulties are:

1. One of the efforts to overcome learning difficulties is to increase learning motivation.

2. Have learning goals and targets to be achieved.

3. Identify talents and interests.

4. Create a pleasant learning atmosphere.

5. Record the learning success that you have achieved as a tool for further success.

6. Ask your teacher, friend, or someone for consideration to have the ability to solve learning problems.

7. Equip learning facilities.

8. Maintain health conditions, avoid foods that are at risk of damaging the brain.

9. Set study time at school and at home.

10. Make summaries, schemes and notes for lessons that are considered important or difficult.

11. Create harmonious relationships with teachers, friends, and family so as not to burden thoughts and feelings.

12. Hang out with people who support successful learning.

The solutions provided by the BK in overcoming student learning problems , namely:

1. Approaching students

2. Searching for data about the problem by communicating with parents and homeroom teachers.

3. Conduct private consultations.


Before determining alternative solutions to the problem of students' learning difficulties, teachers are strongly encouraged to first identify (an attempt to recognize symptoms carefully) on phenomena that indicate the possibility of learning difficulties afflicting these students. Such an effort is called a diagnosis which aims to determine the "type of disease" namely the type of student learning difficulties.

Diagnosis is a term adopted from the medical field. According to Thorndike and Hagen, diagnosis can be interpreted as an attempt to find out what weaknesses or diseases a person is experiencing by carefully examining the symptoms.

Thus, in making a diagnosis, it is not only identifying the type or characteristics, as well as the background of a learning weakness (by collecting and using various data or information as completely and objectively as possible) but also implies an effort to predict the possibilities and also suggest a solution.

In making a diagnosis, it is necessary to have a procedure consisting of certain steps that are oriented towards finding certain types of learning difficulties experienced by students. Diagnostic steps in learning difficulties:

1. Identification

2. Determining priorities

3. Determine potential

4. Determine the level of ability in the area that needs to be remedied

5. Determine symptoms of difficulty

6. Analyze related factors

7. Prepare recommendations for teaching

In making a diagnosis, there are several principles that must be considered by a teacher for children with learning difficulties, these principles are:

1. Focused on formulating improvement methods

2. Efficient

3. Using cumulative record

4. Pay attention to various related information

5. Valid and reliable

6. Use of standardized tests (if possible )

7. Use of informal procedures

8. Quantitative

9. Continuous.

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Cases of learning difficulties can also be detected from observation notes or reports on the learning process, namely:

1. Fast and slow (how long) completing work (tasks)

2. Persistence in following lessons (how many times absent: neglect, illness, permission) )

3. Participation and contribution in solving problems or doing group assignments

4. Ability to work together and socially adjust.

So it can be said that if the diagnostic activities carried out by the teacher in dealing with learning difficulties experienced by students can run well, it will have an impact on the handling process that will be carried out and the success of the learning process itself. However, it will also have the opposite effect if a teacher / educator is wrong or inaccurate in diagnosing student learning difficulties.


The phenomenon of learning difficulties (learning difficult) of a student is usually evident from the decline in academic performance or learning achievement. However, learning difficulties can also be proven by the emergence of behavioral disorders (misbehavior) in students such as shouting in class, harassing friends, fighting, often not attending school, and often running away from school.

According to Ross, learning difficulties are caused by a developmental disorder of the use and maintenance of selective attention.

In view of these things, there is no doubt that in education there are various difficulties caused by the circumstances or nature of the child himself or by the environment and or by the educator himself.

Broadly speaking, the factors that cause learning difficulties consist of two kinds, namely students' internal factors and students' external factors

a. Students' internal factors Students'

internal factors include students' psycho-physical disorders or disabilities, namely:

1. Cognitive (creative domains), such as the low intelligence capacity of students.

2. Affective (the realm of taste), such as unstable emotions and attitudes.

3. Psychomotor (intentional realm), such as disturbance of the senses of sight and hearing.

b. Student external

factors Student external factors include all situations and environmental conditions that do not support student learning activities. These environmental factors include :

1. Family environment, for example: disharmony in the relationship between father and mother, and low family economic life.

2. Community environment, for example: slum area, and naughty peer groups.

3. The school environment, for example, is the poor condition and location of school buildings such as near the market, the condition of teachers and learning tools of low quality and others.

In addition to the general factors above, there are also other factors that also cause student learning difficulties, namely heredity, damage to brain function, biochemistry, environmental deprivation, nutritional errors. Among the factors that can be seen as this particular factor is a psychological syndrome in the form of learning disability.

Syndrome (syndrome) which means a symptom unit that appears as an indicator of psychological abnormalities that cause learning difficulties consists of :

1) Dyslexia, namely the inability to learn to read.

2) Dysgraphia (dysgraphia), namely the inability to learn to write.

3) Dyscalculia, namely the inability to learn mathematics.

However, students who experience the above syndromes in general actually have a normal IQ potential and some of them have intelligence above average. Therefore, the learning difficulties of students who suffer from these syndromes may only be caused by minimal brain dysfunction, which is a mild disturbance of the brain.

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So that the various factors experienced by students who have been mentioned above in learning difficulties are very decisive and also affect student learning outcomes. It would be better if these factors could be recognized early, in order to handle them more quickly and efficiently and not become a patent problem for the students themselves.

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