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The EDUFAX Educational FAQ
I have a LEARNING DISABILITY.....
take me back to the list of questions
- My 11 year old son has been recently diagnosed as LD
in reading/writing. I realize it is too early to discuss post-high
school education, but can you give us any insight into the type of
accommodations we can expect from colleges ? (courtesy Pamela Elliott-Tamcke, League City, TX)
- It is indeed too early to consider post-secondary accommodations.
There are many colleges and even professional schools (eg: medicine,
law) which offer both remedial support and accommodations, but first
you must teach your child to self-advocate. By the time he enters
college, the field of Learning Disabilities will be completely
different from what we understand today. Daily, we are learning new
things about the brain and its abilities for reorganization. If I
were you, I would concentrate on helping your child develop
self-esteem and a clear and positive awareness of his capabilities.
Work closely with the testing psychologist to find out about
technological assistance (voice recognition computer programs for
writing, the Kurzweil Reading Machine, AlphaSmart, etc.) and track
down every lead you find on the web. Sometimes parents who are a few
steps ahead of you in approaching similar difficulties can be the
best resources. Join a support group so that you can learn from
other parents and share your own experiences.If your son is in
public school, be extremely careful about his Individual Education
Plan (IEP). Bring outside experts to define his strengths and
weaknesses and to suggest what kinds of in-school accommodation will
help him achieve.
Remember that a learning disability has nothing to do with
intelligence. A person with a learning disability has the same IQ
potential as a person without one, ranging from the very bottom of
the spectrum to the very top. For a student with a learning
disability, the key for maximizing potential is to dwell on
strengths rather than weaknesses. Make certain that you are informed
of the most up-to-date research and be familiar with the
acknowledged experts in the areas which particularly affect your
If you are considering a private school, contact an educational
consultant who can help you make the appropriate match. Children
with LD often benefit from summer classes and individualized
attention. Remember, your child had the confidence to stand up and
learn to walk because he knew that you were there to support his
efforts and assuage his failures. The process for helping a child
with a learning difference is much the same. You'll need
cheerleading pompoms as well as bandaids.
A parting idea -- you might enjoy learning about the theory of
multiple intelligence, originally proposed by Howard Gardner of
Harvard University, Boston, USA. What the brain subtracts in one
area is usually compensated for by unique gifts in another.
Good Luck with your child and thank you for bringing this important
question to EDUFAX.
Marcia Rubinstien, Director of EDUFAX, has taken an active role in services for students with Learning Difficulties:
Marcia's detailed resume is available on the EDUFAX site.
EDUFAX provides services for the Learning Disabled Student.
- Member of the Connecticut State Advisory Council on Special Education
- National Co-Chair of the IECA Learning Disabilities Committee
- Editor of The Support Report, a quarterly international newsletter published by SHARE Support, Inc.: a non-profit corporation dedicated to children and adults with unique learning styles and neurobiological disabilities
- Educational Consultant and Advocate for students with LD and their families
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