What is a learning impairment?

The term learning impairment generally refers to difficulty experienced by children (or adults) in one or more learning areas, which reduces the learner’s ability to realise his or her potential. It is often referred to as a “hidden handicap” and affects between 15 and 25% of children, regardless of culture, race, gender, or class. The learning impaired child generally performs poorly at school because he or she has difficulty in acquiring, storing, retrieving or expressing information. A learning impairment most frequently manifests in the academic areas of reading, writing and mathematics as well as such functions as attention, concentration, reasoning, memory functions, oral communication and so forth. An inability to pay attention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity, may suggest the possible presence of a learning impairment.

What is the cause of a learning impairment?

A primary learning impairment is often genetically determined and frequently results from a specific neurological dysfunction. Learning backlogs may also be caused by external factors, such as environmental deprivation, emotional problems and so on, but in such cases the learning disability would not be primary.

What are the future prospects of a learner matriculating from the School of Achievement?

Prospects are similar to those of any other learner who has passed Grade 12 with standard grade subjects.

What type of behaviour is characteristic of a learner with a learning impairment?

One or more of the following symptoms may indicate as possible learning impairment:

Which learners does the School of Achievement accommodate?

Only learners in grade 1 to 12 experiencing a barrier to learning and development (specifically learning impaired) are accommodated – subject to the availability of places. Grade 1 learners are only accepted from the year in which they are of compulsory school going age; again subject to the availability of places.

Many learners who could benefit from the professional multidisciplinary team approach at the school unfortunately go unnoticed. Often the below average performance of these children at school and their demanding behaviour at home hide a learning impairment, which is frequently not recognised. As a consequence they are often negatively labelled, which places further, major hurdles in their way and prevent them from achieving their academic and social potential.

The presence of one or more of the following symptoms will facilitate a decision regarding the child's status as a candidate or not:

What is the procedure to be followed when applying for placement at the School of Achievement?

Please click for more information on applying for placement at the School of Achievement.

What type of assistance can the School of Achievement offer learning impaired learners?


The school offers a range of professional support services which typically include occupational, speech, and psychological support for the learning process.
It offers :

Additional support for learners who experience specific learning needs: