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Ask the Expert a question by clicking the button below. Questions and answers will be posted on our website. Although we can’t always give a personal answer to each question, we’ll try to provide responses covering all the topics of interest. Check our website frequently for posts on new questions and answers.

The Learning Disabilities Association of America does not endorse, recommend, or make representations with respect to the research, services, programs, medications, products, or treatments referenced on the website.

What is the next step for my son?

Question: My son had an IEP in school, passed the state testing and completed all of his high school credits. We requested for him to stay another year in school for social and pragmatic issues. However, the school graduated him after repeated requests by my son, his therapist and myself to hold him back. What is the next step? Answer: I’m afraid this is a scenario that occurs all too often. Many higher-functioning students in special education are able to pass their state’s test and earn the credits required for graduation, yet are not ready to transition into either work… Read More »

I’m ashamed of failing!

Question: I am an adult and I struggle with what I feel is a learning disability. I have always struggled with learning math, even though I always liked it. I also have trouble comprehending and retaining things long term especially since I’ve gotten older. Even though I have had pretty decent jobs for someone with my educational background, I have had lots of failure as well. I also have four children, who all struggle with math and I want to be able to help them with their homework. I feel as of now that my math level is behind theirs.… Read More »

How do I advise my daughter on the right path for her now that she’s graduated high school?

Question: My daughter has learning disabilities. She graduated high school this year and now I don’t know how to guide her should she get a job. I have many questions, what kind of job is best for her, should she go to college, what would be a good career path or should she participate in a program for adults with that offers independent living skills and enrichment classes? How do I advise her on the right path for her? Answer: Where the child should go or plan to go should be determined and guided by the transition plan developed as… Read More »

Can I be Tested or am I too Old?

Question: I am an adult in my 50’s and have trouble reading, finishing what I read and making progress on what I am reading. I reread the same sentence or paragraph repeatedly. It can take me hours to finish a page. I am often distracted and eventually just give up. Can I be tested or am I too old? Answer: Learning disabilities evaluations can be pretty expensive – usually running anywhere from $800 – $1500 for adults. So you might want to consider whether or not you actually need the diagnosis or if you’re just curious. If you need the… Read More »

Is there any way you guys can help me figure out what my learning disability is?

    Question: I am currently a college student who has a learning disability but am not sure what the name of my learning disability is. All I know is that I’m allowed extra time for tests. Is there any way you guys can help me figure out what my learning disability is? Answer: A good beginning is to review your latest full psychological report.  The disability services office at your college most likely has a copy of that report since you are receiving services typically available only to students who have presented current documentation. If you or the college… Read More »

Are there college scholarships available for students with learning disabilities?

  Question: Are there college scholarships available for students with learning disabilities? Answer: Here are some sources we have found that may help you find financial aid for college. This link is to information prepared by LDA’s Adult Topics Committee in the article Financial Aid for College Students with Learning Disabilities. Scholarships that are available for students with learning disabilities include (click on the link for more information): The Anne Ford Scholarship. A $10,000 award given to a high school senior with an identified learning disability (LD) who is pursuing an undergraduate degree. Marion Huber Learning Through Listening (LTL) Awards.… Read More »

We are considering homeschooling our child. Can you help guide us?

Question: We are considering homeschooling our child. Can you help guide us? Answer: Homeschooling your child can be a very rewarding and enriching experience at any ageit can also be a very challenging task without adequate information and preparation. To begin with, consider your response to several key questions, including*: Can we do this? Can we afford to homeschool? What about relationships? What resources are available? Would homeschooling be good for our child? Do we really want to take full responsibility for our child’s academic learning? Are school district personnel available to us to provide assistance in shaping a program… Read More »

Where can I go for low cost or free evaluation services?

  Question: I am an adult with learning disabilities. Where can I go for low cost or free evaluation services? Answer: Thank you for contacting the Learning Disabilities Association of America with your question. Here is a link to an information page about individuals who have LD and need diagnosis, but are searching for low cost evaluation services. There is a section on TANF recipients which includes other state aid opportunities. Another option is to see if you qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. If you are considering training or education toward a career or are looking for a job and… Read More »

What are the best classroom and tutoring environments for a child with dyslexia?

Question: What is the best type of classroom for a student who is dyslexic? What tutoring programs work best with children who are dyslexic? Answer: Students with dyslexia should be placed in a classroom that is structured for multisensory, small group instruction. Most classrooms engage students through sight and/or sound. Information is presented in written and/or spoken form. Students in turn are asked to practice and share what they have learned using these two senses. Quite often students with learning difficulties are slow to process information using one sense. A multisensory instructional approach allows students to process information using a… Read More »

Is it possible my child has a learning disability?

Question: My son is five years old and currently in preschool. He should be starting kindergarten in the fall. We have been working with him very hard on the alphabet and his numbers, but it does not seem like he retains much. Is it possible that he has a learning disability and what resources are there for a child that is not yet in the public school system? Answer: If you are concerned about your child’s learning ability, by all means have him tested. You can contact private psychologists or contact your county or state educators. It will give you… Read More »

I am an adult struggling with books. Where can I get help?

  Question: I am an adult who has struggled with books for years. I so desperately want to read, but don’t know where to go for help. I am a visual learner and get distracted easily. I can draw any picture in my head and write poems and stories easily…but I cannot read. Do you have any suggestions? Answer: What you are describing is not uncommon and you are not alone. Reading is a really complex process, and while we are programmed to learn language as humans, we are not programmed to read. While most believe that the primary difficulty… Read More »

Where can I get assessment information in college?

Question: I spoke with my college adviser about being assessed for a possible learning disability, but I have not received a reply. Where can I get information about LD assessment needed to receive services from my college? Answer: Although it seems you made an appropriate request for guidance, an advisor may not have the information you need. You should contact the Disability Services office on campus. Should you have difficulty finding that office, the Dean of Students can give you contact information, location, etc. Colleges and public schools operate under very different legislation. Public schools, under IDEAA, must provide assessment,… 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 »

Where Can I Find an Affordable Option for Diagnostic Testing?

Question: I am trying to find any resources to help my daughter. She is in first grade at a private school. Her teacher has expressed concern over my daughter’s grades, especially in reading and writing. I am trying to find the best route to get her tested. Everything I have seen is extremely out of price range. I am not sure if I am missing any resources that we can benefit from. Where can I go to get affordable testing? Answer: Teachers in the early grades are often the best predictors of which students are truly struggling and may need… Read More »