Beyond the Classroom

Group of children playing with hula-hoops outdoors in summerThe impact of learning disabilities does not end in the classroom but can extend to activities outside the schoolyard. This area will provide articles of interest related to activities beyond the classroom: tutoring, summer activities, special education expenses, social skills and more.

Activities For Young Children: Providing Practice For Development

Young children with learning disabilities need many opportunities to practice the skills they are taught. Both parents and caregivers should plan activities to provide the positive practice needed for development. Here are some ideas for playing games using newly learned letters and words; finding numbers, letters and words in everyday items; other games that provide practice with numbers, letters, words and concepts; and using computer games and software to practice skills already learned. As you become familiar with these ideas to help your child become more aware of the ways that letters, words and numbers can be used, you will… Read More »

Parents Are Their Child’s First Teachers

Many simple everyday occurrences provide excellent opportunities to enhance your child’s development. Never underestimate the value of even 15 minutes of quality time spent with your child. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher! Talk about everything around you and respond with sentences using any words the child contributes. Play games with the alphabet to introduce new letters. Tell stories about your childhood, your child’s favorite book or video character. When reading a story, describe what’s going on in the pictures and ask your child what he thinks. Let your child see that reading is fun and it’s important to… Read More »

Starting School: How To Help Your Child

Starting school can be an exciting time for both parent and child. To start off on the right foot here are a few suggestions that can help to foster success. A specially designated study space is essential. Setting a study time will help with short attention spans and learning to stay on task. Color coding, organizers, assignment sheets and calendars will get your child on the right track. Graphic organizers and reading with your child can improve reading ability. Consistency and daily interaction are important. To follow up on the information found here, see the articles in Help with Homework. … Read More »

A Learning Disability is Only One Part of a Child

When a child is born, it is usually a time of joy for the whole family. How new parents respond to this new little person is influenced by many factors. Some feelings revolve around how comfortable parents are in taking care of the child, whether the child was wanted, and whether the child is welcomed into an intact family. The personality of the infant as defined by Chess and Thomas is also a factor. Some are easy, contented babies, others may be fussy. Tactilely defensive babies, who do not want to be held, may cause the mother to question her… Read More »

Helping Young Children with Learning Disabilities at Home

Many parents of young children with learning disabilities ask what they can do at home to help their youngsters. Generally, the first step is to try to understand the child’s difficulties and to consider how these weaknesses might impact on self-help skills, communication, discipline, play and independence; however, above all, we encourage them to focus on the child’s strengths in order to build self-esteem and to help them become an integral part of the family. Like all parents, they need to consider the delicate balance between providing too much or too little assistance for the child‒a balance between under and… Read More »

Help with Homework

The amount of assistance your child requires with homework will be determined by his/her age and level of ability. Elementary school students, as well as those with learning problems will require more of your time, assistance, and support than secondary students. Your assistance also depends on whether the homework assignments represent practicing a skill already mastered by your child or developing and mastering a new skill. The later will take more time and involvement on your part. Most parents feel quite capable of providing assistance when the goal of homework is to practice previously learned information. For example, using flash… Read More »

The LD/ADHD Teen Driver: Risky Business or Worth the Risk?

Learning to drive can be difficult for many teenagers especially if they reside in a high traffic area. It can be equally stressful for parents who are teaching their teens with specific learning disabilities. These disabilities can include processing delays, perceptual difficulties, memory, executive function disorders or ADHD, which can compound the challenge. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. With a little planning, time and a lot of patience your teen can learn to drive and gain the independence that many teens crave and need to be successful on their own. Is your teen ready? Although your teen… Read More »

Summer Activities for Children with Learning Disabilities

When summer vacation arrives, parents are faced with selecting meaningful activities for their child with learning disabilities. Many parents see summer as a time for catching up on academic skills through tutoring, summer school, or one-on-one instruction with parents. Other parents view summer as a much needed time to rest and be free of the stress that is associated with school and learning activities. Still others see summer as time for learning new skills that there isn’t time to learn during the school year. There is no one correct answer. It all depends on the child and his needs. Volunteer… Read More »

Learning Disabilities and The Law: After High School: An Overview for Students

Do the legal rights of students with learning disabilities continue after high school? Legal rights may continue. It depends upon the facts in the individual case. Children with learning disabilities who receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RA) in public elementary and secondary school may continue to have legal rights under federal laws in college programs and in employment. When students graduate from high school or reach age 21, their rights under the IDEA come to an end. The rights that may continue are those under the Rehabilitation Act and… Read More »

Transition Planning Requirements of IDEA 2004

What is transition planning? Transition planning is a process mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) for all students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in K-12 education. The purpose is to facilitate the student’s move from school to post-school activities. The transition planning must: start before the student turns 16; be individualized; be based on the student’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and include opportunities to develop functional skills for work and community life. Who develops the transition plan? The IEP team; The student; Parents; Optional–employers, college representatives, student advocates What is the transition team’s job?… Read More »

Post Secondary Educational Options

There are many postsecondary options for people who have learning disabilities. Whether it’s a four-year college, a two-year college, a technical program, adult basic education, continuing education, or a life skills program, the key to choosing the right school for you starts with these steps: Contact your selected school’s Office of Disability Support Services to set up a meeting. Take your current learning disability documentation with you for that meeting. Know what accommodations you will need to ask for in a college or university setting. Determine if the school will provide your requested accommodations. Follow with a tour of the… Read More »