resources for students with learning disabilities
The term "Learning Disability" is a general term used to pertain to difficulties a person may posses in either writing, reading, listening, speaking, reasoning or computing.
It is important to know that while there are those who exhibit difficulty in all of the areas mentioned, many are deficient in only certain aspects while excelling in others.
Many in the medical industry believe that learning disabilities are caused by a person having a different process of understanding. In other words, it is less a question of whether they "do" understand but more of "how" they understand. It is wrong therefore to regard individuals - both children and adult alike - with learning disabilities as "dumb" or "stupid." More accurately, they just have a different system of understanding as that of the general populace.
Learning disabilities have no cure to speak of. It lasts for the person's entire life and can only be circumvented through proper training or education, but can never really be totally eliminated. Learning disabilities are becoming more and more common as many researchers are paying more attention to it and, as a result, are able to diagnose it earlier. Statistically, one in five persons in the United States suffers from a learning disability.
While there is no hard and fast rule in diagnosing a person, certain signals such as
- having trouble learning the alphabet,
- difficulty connecting letter to sounds,
- holding a pencil awkwardly accompanied by messy handwriting,
- mispronouncing of certain words,
etc. may all be early signals of a learning disability. Of course one must remember that all signs must be taken in its proper context depending on the individual's background and environment.
Individuals with learning disabilities, nowadays, have several recourses when compared to just several years ago. One of which is enrolling in a school with an IEP (Individualized Learning Program) to help the student learn at a pace and manner better suited for him. In this system, the tasks are carefully broken into smaller parts so that the child does not process too much information at once. Furthermore, teachers here make sure to emphasize lessons on organization, learning strategies and the like. Currently, there's also several software available that helps teach kids with disabilities in a step by step, broken down manner.
While there is no cure for learning disabilities, there are more special education programs being offered by institutions nowadays. These special classes have a more controlled pace and plays on the child's strengths rather than forcing him to adjust to someone else's. Like any condition, learning disabilities vary in degree. There are those that have great difficulty functioning in society while many are able to successfully do, when properly educated and supported.