Learning difficulties may be associated with many different kinds of problems, disorders, illnesses or disabilities – mental and physical alike. Students with learning difficulties may request special arrangements to help them in their studies. Read the instructions on special arrangements in studies if you feel like you need special arrangements due to a learning difficulty, illness or disability.
Some learning difficulties may relate to a particular stage of life or situation, while others may be life-long issues. Even though nearly everyone experiences some attentiveness problems, and stress, depression or fatigue may heighten such symptoms, the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), i.e., persistent attentiveness problems and/or impulsiveness and hyperactivity, begin in childhood. The symptoms may remain, disappear, become less intense or change with age. ADHD is often associated with difficulties with executive functioning, which means that planning, carrying out and assessing your own activities may be particularly challenging. It is possible to mitigate problems with attentiveness through persistent practice and by learning new techniques.
Dyslexia means slow and/or inaccurate reading. Among Finnish speakers, dyslexia often manifests as slow reading, which can reduce the motivation to study for major examinations. Some dyslexics may also experience difficulties with learning new languages. Dyslexia should be considered when scheduling your studies. Request special arrangements for dyslexia if you feel you need them.
The common factor of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is difficulty with social interaction. You may be diagnosed with ASD if you have experienced the symptoms throughout your life. However, the symptoms of the disorder may not begin to interfere with your life and functional ability until you begin university-level studies, which require an increased level of independence and initiative, a holistic grasp of issues and application skills. Establishing social relationships at university is also largely at the responsibility of the student and requires being socially forward. Coping with independent living is challenging for many people on the autism spectrum, and this may also be reflected in their studies.
Resources for learning difficulties (mainly in Finnish)