October Webinar: Stress!! The Missing Piece of the LD/ADHD Puzzle, What to Know and What to DO!

 Stress!!! The Missing Piece of the Puzzle, What to Know and What to DO! Presented by: Jerry Schultz, Ph.D.   In this interactive webinar, Clinical Neuropsychologist and Harvard Medical School faculty member Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Schultz will explore the impact of stress on learning and behavior in students with learning disabilities and associated ADHD. Tune in to learn why the brains of kids with LD and ADHD are at risk and what we can do about it. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get some very practical and sensible advice from a seasoned professional (and former special education… Read More »

High School Equivalency Exams

What are high school equivalency exams? High school equivalency exams are tests available for people age 16 and older who did not finish high school. Many people who did not finish high school have the same knowledge and skills as those who did graduate. Others can enroll in an adult education program to gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass a high school equivalency exam. By taking and passing one of these exams, adults can demonstrate they have acquired the same level of knowledge as someone who has completed high school. The person then earns a certificate that… Read More »

WEBINAR: Transforming Third Grade Common Core Stress to Success for Students with Learning Disabilities

The convergence of Common Core Assessments and Third Grade Retention policies pose a major threat to students with learning disabilities nationwide. Students with LD are likely to be retained and/or fall behind in their reading comprehension. This presentation will focus on how parents, teachers, outside professionals and advocates can help students with learning disabilities using a combination of strategies from early identification, effective interventions, the most effective accommodations, parent and teacher collaboration and other innovative ideas. Our presenters, Mira and Mark Halpert, will share some startling statistics that highlight the risks, share strategies parents and professionals can use and discuss… Read More »

Learning Disabilities and Social Security Disability Benefits

When living with a learning disability, you’re empowered to thrive in all aspects in life despite the challenges that can be faced daily. However, in some situations, adults who suffer from severe learning disabilities can find it difficult to maintain gainful employment to support their families. Also, if you have a child who lives with a severe learning disability, it can be hard finding and affording opportunities for them to success both in and out of the classroom. In either situation, the financial effects can, sometimes, be overwhelming to an individual or a family. The good news is that Social… Read More »

Adult Success Stories

Get inspired by adults who overcame their learning disabilities to find happiness and success in their lives. Dan Spencer, USFWS biologist Dan Spencer shares how struggling with his disability brought him to where he is today. Dan had a love of the outdoors from a young age and his He shares his story of how he was able to use his love of the outdoors to his advantage to raise public awareness and reach as many learning disability affected individuals as possible. Dan’s blog chronicles his struggles and the positive outcomes in his life despite his learning disabilities. View Dan’s… Read More »

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month!

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is working hard this month to shine the spotlight on learning disabilities. It is important during Learning Disabilities (LD) Month to focus less on the disabilities aspect and focus more on the incredible abilities so many of these individuals possess as well as emphasize the phenomenal achievements and important strides so many of these individuals have made. Membership in LDA is a way in which to support and nurture individuals with learning disabilities throughout not only the United States but the world. LDA does make a difference in the lives of those it touches.… Read More »

Educator Success Stories

Check out stories from educators who have made a difference teaching kids with learning disabilities. Learn of their struggles and their triumphs. If you have a story about a favorite educator and the impact they have had on a student please email us at info@ldaamerica.org. Unlocking Potential through Assistive Technology Featured teacher: Jennifer Topple, The Howard School, Atlanta, GA Student: Colin Colin is a bright, verbal, gregarious 13-year-old who has struggled with reading since day one. His parents got him the best intervention available in Atlanta, and he worked intensively for almost four years in a high quality Orton-Gillingham school.… Read More »

Introducing The Hybrid Teacher: Hope for Students with LD in the General Education Classroom

Author’s note: Versions of this article have appeared in LDA Today (formerly LDA NEWSBRIEFS), as well as archived on www.LDonline.org . It is also included in serialized form in the author’s blog on The Huffington Post.. Minor modifications have been made in this version, so that it could be shared as part of the LDA Calendar “31 Days of LD” that has been created to celebrate October as Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. I am pleased to have it included in this creative repository of helpful and informative materials. I hope you enjoy it. I would appreciate hearing your response to it.… Read More »

AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology

Upcoming Webinar AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology Presented by: Carolyn P. Phillips, Director of Tools for Life Join us on Thursday, September 18 at 7pm EST. Space is limited! Register and log in early! AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology Assistive technology can mean different things to different people depending on their disability and can be both low tech and high tech. Join LDA as Carolyn Phillips, Program Director and Principal Investigator of Tools for Life, provides an easy to understand overview on the basics of Assistive Technology (AT) and how it can benefit individuals… Read More »

Rights and Responsibilities of College Students with Learning Disabilities (LD)

Download/Print Rights and Responsibilities of College Students with Learning Disabilities Info Sheet Legal Rights of College Students with LD Academic accommodations are required by law for eligible college students with LD. Accommodations are changes in the learning and testing environments that give college students with LD an equal opportunity to learn. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its amendments (ADAAA) require that reasonable accommodations be made available to college students who have current documentation of learning disabilities and who request learning and/or testing accommodations. Student Responsibilities Student responsibilities include the following: To self-identify as a person with a disability… Read More »

Transitioning from College to Work

Download/Print Transitioning From College To Work Info Sheet Transitioning from college to work is a process. Students must begin this process early and be able to transfer knowledge of their learning disability (LD) into the world of employment. Students should consider the following: What do I think the impact of the LD will be on my job performance? How or when should I disclose my LD? Do I know the typical accommodations made in the workforce? What kinds of social demands and interactions will I have? Students must recognize the disability’s impact on career choices. Knowledge of the disability and… Read More »

Protecting Students with Disabilities: FAQs about Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities

What is Section 504? Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .” The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide… Read More »

Financial Aid for College Students with Learning Disabilities (LD)

Download/Print  Financial Aid for College Students with LD Info Sheet Why Financial Aid is Important for College Students with LD Many students with LD need smaller colleges or private colleges for the individual support they offer. Many students with LD require the support of fee-based programs. Some students with LD may not be able to effectively demonstrate their intelligence through GPAs and test scores so they may not qualify for academic scholarships How to Prepare to Qualify for Scholarships Begin in 9th grade! Carefully choose classes to complete requirements for scholarships. Insure that accommodations are being made in class, but not… Read More »

Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal

The latest issue (Volume 20, Issue 2) of, “Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal,” has recently been released. In this issue you will find a wide variety of articles that continue to expand our knowledge base on important topics in the field of learning disabilities. This issue is published by Sagamore Publishing for LDA . Grab a PDF of one of the current articles, find out more about the Journal and learn how to subscribe and receive a copy of this timely issue by clicking the title of this article or the image to the left.

Adult Literacy Reading Programs

A well-trained teacher or tutor in an adult literacy program should be trained in at least three methods, including the multisensory approach, which has proven to be effective for adult students with learning disabilities. A multisensory method uses a combination of visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic instruction to enhance memory and learning. Following is a list of multi sensory structured language programs.This list does not include every available adult literacy reading program; however, many of the programs listed are based on the “Orton Gillingham-Stillman Approach.” This approach is often described as the grandfather of many successful multisensory reading programs. Literacy Reading Programs… Read More »

How to Pick a Lawyer

People sometimes ask: “How do I pick a lawyer?” The starting point is to understand the nature of your legal problem. What is the Exact Nature of My Legal Problem? The individual with specific learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may require the assistance of a lawyer in connection with problems in areas such as: elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, professional licensing, and employment. Problems may pose legal issues under the IDEA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and state laws. Occasionally, criminal law issues may be posed. Once the… Read More »

Is a Learning Disability Considered a Mental Illness?

Question: If someone has a learning disability can it be considered a mental illness? We have a wonderful club in our city for those who suffer from mental illness. I have a friend who has a learning disability. I am curious if he can use their services. Answer: No, a Learning Disability is not a mental illness. Learning Disabilities are neurologically-based. They result from “faulty wiring” in specific areas of the brain. These disabilities will impact on an individual’s ability to process and to use information and, thus, can impact on this individual’s ability to be successful with reading, writing,… Read More »

Managing Social-Emotional Issues of Adults with Learning Disabilities

Some guidelines for adults with learning disabilities: Managing (and perhaps mastering) the social-emotional aspects of living with a learning disability. It’s important to start out with the reminder that although a learning disability (LD) is a life-long condition, that does not mean that it’s a life sentence. With increasing frequency, adults have found success in navigating a world lived through the lens of a learning disability, either in spite of it, or more importantly, because of the LD. A learning disability has certain common features, but it shows up in different people in different ways. This is especially true in… Read More »

The Highs and Lows of Classroom Technology

Whether it’s an advanced reading and writing application, or a portable electronic spell-checker, technology in the classroom has the potential to enrich and enhance academic skills for kids with learning differences. In many ways, classroom technology hasn’t changed that much in 10 years. Many applications we have today were around back then; they were just slower and less accurate. For example, there was spell check, but now there’s auditory spell check with pop-up definitions and the ability to recognize homonyms. Ten years ago, it was rare to see any assistive technology devices in the regular classroom, unless one was specifi… Read More »

News-in-Brief – November 2013

New Legislation Emphasizes Importance of Early Learning LDA signed on as an initial supporter for the recent introduction of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and eleven Senate co-sponsors. Similar legislation also was introduced in the House by Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Richard Hanna (R-NY). These bills would expand access to high-quality preschool for four-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families and high-quality infant and toddler care. States could use funds to serve four-year-olds whose families have incomes at or below 200 percent of poverty. Once a state or locality makes pre-kindergarten available… Read More »

LDA Follows Congress as Budget Passes at Eleventh Hour

As Congress was set to adjourn for the winter recess, they finally agreed on a budget deal that will take the government through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014, ending September 30, 2014) and beyond into FY 2015. After many advocates and constituents from across the country – including LDA members – contacted their senators and representatives regarding the effects of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) brokered a deal that passed both chambers with comfortable margins. The budget deal provides enough money for federal… Read More »

Screening Adults for Learning Disabilities

Download Screening Adults for Learning Disabilities What is learning disability (LD) screening? Screening is the first step in the process of gathering relevant information about an individual with a suspected learning disability. Screening does not determine whether or not the person has a learning disability. It may include observations, informal interviews, the use of a written tool, and/or a review of medical, school, or work histories. How is LD screening different from LD diagnosis? An LD diagnosis is a formal assessment that determines the actual presence of a learning disability. LD screening is an informal process that shows whether there… Read More »

Executive Functions Development and Learning Disabilities

Elkanon Goldberg states “The human brain is the most complex natural system in the known universe.” Many researchers suggest that executive functions can be thought of as a set of multiple cognitive capacities that underlie a person’s ability to engage; in planning purposeful goal-directed intentional action, to sustain focused and vigilant attention, to inhibit and refrain from internal or external distractions, to select problem-solving strategies and mediate outcome, to use efficient cognitive flexibility to shift thoughts and actions between activities and tasks, to maintain persistence towards the attainment of a goal and to increase understanding of oneself in relation to… Read More »

The Role of Parents/Family in Response to Intervention

IDEA 04 offers states and localities the option of using “a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation process…,” but it does not require that states or districts use Responsiveness-to-Intervention, often shortened to RTI. Although RTI is similar to the old pre-referral or problem-solving model first suggested by Dr. James Chalfant in the mid-70’s as Teacher Assistance Teams (TAT), parents have begun to hear a lot about RTI as a “new” way to help students with learning disabilities. What is RTI? Although there is no single RTI model, the many variations… Read More »

Supreme Court Rules Parents Have Rights, Too

On Monday, May 21, 2007, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of significance to parents. The case is Winkelman v. Parma School District, U.S.S.C. Docket No. 05-983 (May 21, 2007). These are the facts. Jacob Winkelman is a six-year old child with autism spectrum disorder. Both the parents and the school district agreed that he is covered by the IDEA. The parents participated in the process of formulating the IEP and, when, in the parents’ view, the school district failed to provide Jacob with the free appropriate public education mandated by IDEA, the parents sought a due process… Read More »