October is Learning Disability Awareness month. One of the 13 categories of disabilities covered under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is Specific Learning Disability. Specific learning disabilities commonly affect skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, speaking, listening, and reasoning. If your child has average to above average intelligence and struggles in school with any of the above-mentioned skills, do not chalk it up to laziness or defiance. Instead, familiarize yourself with the signs of the disabilities that fall under the Specific Learning Disability umbrella.
Many parents will begin reading through the signs for a specific disability (i.e. Dysgraphia) and say, "Oh my goodness. That is my child."
Knowledge is power. Awareness is empowering. Identification is key.
Children with a learning disability can flourish in an academic environment if they are identified, provided with accommodations, and supported. Early identification is key, as the earlier the appropriate accommodations and supports are put in place, the better. However, if your child has slipped through the cracks year after year, it is never to late to have them evaluated and get the ball rolling in the right direction. As Dr. Ross Greene famously says, "Kids do well if they can."
Children with a learning disability whose needs are not identified tend to go down a very different path. They often become frustrated. They may be viewed as lazy students. Defiant. Behaviorally challenged. They may end up punished for their disability, placed in inappropriate placements, or drop out of school altogether. The Learning Disabilities Association of America highlights how incarceration in the U.S. disproportionately impacts people of color and people with disabilities.
Over the past week I have been sharing information on social media about the 3 D's: Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, and Dyslexia. For those who aren't on social media or don't follow Parent Empowerment Groups, I want to ensure the information is present on our website as well.
Be sure to check in on posts made over the next few days highlighting the information shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!