Social skill problems due to inconsistent perceptual abilities, an adult with a learning disability may be unable to
- detect the difference between a joking wink and a disgusted glance
- notice the difference between sincere and sarcastic comments
- recognize other subtle changes in tone of voice.
These difficulties in interpreting nonverbal messages may cause problems in meeting people, working cooperatively with others, and making friends.
As a result of social difficulties and because they may have been inappropriately labeled as retarded or unmotivated, students with learning disabilities may have low-esteem about their own worth. With new instructional methods, these students often gain confidence in their learning abilities.
Students who have suffered embarrassment in past learning situations may appear either shy or overly aggressive when faced with negative feedback. They may also be fearful of discovery by others. A helpful, understanding manner will help decrease these kinds of student fears. In time, as the student develops trust in an instructor, he or she will be more open to constructive criticism.