LD/ADHD Basics

Five students gathered around a school bookLearning Disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) affect millions of children and adults in school and in everyday life. It is a life-long condition. Fortunately, with the right understanding, support, and appropriate interventions, individuals with learning disabilities can become successful students and adults. Learning the basics about LD and ADHD is an important start to getting help. After the signs and symptoms of LD are recognized, the appropriate assessment and evaluation will be needed to determine the right strategies to help the individual.

Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask to Start Conversations About Using Terms Like Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia

When parents and educators use the same terms to describe a child’s challenges, it’s easier for them to communicate and work together. Parents and educators may have different opinions about specific terms like dyslexia or more general terms like learning disabilities. Understanding these terms and agreeing on which to use can help prevent confusion and conflict. It can also lead to a shared understanding of a child’s needs. Eleven diverse national organizations joined together to develop ideas for having this conversation. We hope this resource will add clarity so terminology doesn’t get in the way. Then parents and educators can… Read More »

Testing Accommodations for ADHD: Evidence that the Status Quo is Ineffective

Here at LDA, we’re very proud of our quarterly journal, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal. The following is an excerpt from a study published in our most recent issue. Access to the entire article is free through December 20th and can be found by clicking here. If you’d like more information about the Journal, please head over to Sagamore Publishing for more information. By: Alison Pritchard, Ph.D., ABPP ADHD is the most common psychiatric condition of childhood, with prevalence estimated at 1 in 11 American youth (Pastor et al., 2015). Students with ADHD present an enormous concern for educational policy-makers,… Read More »

Disclosing Your Learning Disability

Download/Print Adults with Learning Disabilities – Disclosing Your Learning Disability Info Sheet What is disclosure? In a disability context, “disclosure” is the act of revealing personal information about a disability for the specific purpose of receiving accommodations in postsecondary school, job training, or the workplace. An accommodation is an adjustment to an environment which makes it possible for people with disabilities to participate equally. There is no standardized form or set of requirements regarding what people must share about their disabilities, and the choice to disclose is a personal decision that individuals with disabilities must make for themselves. They should decide to whom they choose to disclose and how much information to provide. When should you… Read More »

Adults with Learning Disabilities – An Overview

Learning disabilities (LD), sometimes referred to as “specific learning disorders,” are life-long, but adults who have LD can experience great success in all aspects of life when using their strengths together with the strategies, accommodations and technology that are most appropriate and effective for their individual needs. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Symptoms of Learning Disabilities

The symptoms of learning disabilities are a diverse set of characteristics which affect development and achievement. Some of these symptoms can be found in all children at some time during their development. However, a person with learning disabilities has a cluster of these symptoms which do not disappear as s/he grows older. Most frequently displayed symptoms: short attention span, poor memory, difficulty following directions, inability to discriminate between/among letters, numerals, or sounds, poor reading and/or writing ability, eye-hand coordination problems; poorly coordinated, difficulties with sequencing, and/or disorganization and other sensory difficulties. Other characteristics that may be present: performs differently from… Read More »

Treatment of ADHD

Treatment options for children and adolescents with ADHD include medication, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and social skills training. There are times when the entire family of a child with ADHD can benefit from support groups, or parenting skills training. The Learning Disabilities Association of America does not take any position with regard to the treatment of ADHD. ADHD is not a specific learning disability. No single treatment is the answer for every child. A child may sometimes have undesirable side effects to a medication that would make that particular treatment unacceptable. And, if a child with ADHD also has anxiety or… Read More »

Parents’ Right to Request Evaluation for Special Education Services at Any Time

Parents who are aware their child is having a difficult time with reading, mathematics, written expression or other aspects of school work might suspect that the child has a learning disability (LD), also known as specific learning disabilities (SLD), and may be in need of special education services. As a parent, guardian or advocate, you have a legal right to request that your public school evaluate your child for special education.  Read LDA’s Position Paper on Right to an Evaluation of a Child for Special Education Services to learn more about this important legal right and the first step towards helping your… Read More »

Doctor to Doctor: Information on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder for Pediatricians and other Physicians

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry use the same criteria for diagnosing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)–the DSM 5. Individuals with ADHD might be hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive. Before going into detail, let’s look at each of these terms. Criteria describing each behavior can be found in the diagnostic manual. They can be seen with children and adolescents as well as with adults. Hyperactivity does not necessarily mean a child who runs wild and jumps on furniture. These behaviors might be present; however, more commonly we find a child who is restless and who… Read More »

Tips for Parents of Children with LD/ADHD

Parents are always looking for hints that will make learning easier for their LD/ADHD child. This article suggests some helpful tips that LDA parents have learned from one another over the years. It includes tips for organizational problems, auditory problems, visual and motor problems, language-expressive problems and language-receptive problems as well as tips for parenting in general. Providing structure in your family can be a good first step. Also, your local LDA parent group can often offer more tips and, most importantly, offer parental support that you need. Contact your state or local affiliate for more information and possible referrals in… Read More »

What to Expect When Your Child Has a Learning Disability: Identification and Diagnosis

Often the child’s teacher will notice the first symptoms of a Specific Learning Disability. Parents may also notice symptoms that are different from those the teacher sees. That’s why it is so important for teachers and parents to share notes on the development of a child. These conversations may lead to an evaluation for a diagnosis of SLD and eligibility for special education services. Symptoms teachers might observe: trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds, confuses basic words like run, eat, want, makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home),… Read More »

Reading Instruction: Tips for Teachers

Reading is the single most important educational skill your students will learn. Understanding the organization and meaning of text and instruction in both phonics and literature is essential to helping young children read. By understanding the prerequisite skills for reading, teachers can build a solid foundation for their students to learn and succeed in school. Here are some ways to create appreciation of the written word, develop awareness of printed language, teach the alphabet, develop phonological and phonemic awareness, teach the relation of sounds and letters, teach children how to sound out words and to spell words, and help children… Read More »

Parenting Children with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Related Disorders

Children with learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and related disorders puzzle parents because of their many abilities and disabilities. It can also be difficult to understand how much of their behavior is the nature of the condition and how much is oppositional. It is all too easy for parents to sense a child’s feelings of inadequacy and then feel bad as a parent. Parenting approaches that include clear, concise instructions; structure without rigidity; nurturing a child’s gifts and interests; and constant approval of positive behavior help parents feel better and help children feel safe. It takes time for both… Read More »

Social Skills and Learning Disabilities

The consequences of learning disabilities are rarely confined to school or work. Many areas of life are affected, including the role of the person with learning disabilities in their family, relationships with friends, non-academic functioning such as sports or dancing, self-esteem and self-confidence to handle daily situations. Individuals who have learning disabilities may be less observant in their social environment, may misinterpret the social behavior of others at times, and may not learn as easily from experiences or social “cues” as their friends. Some children may exhibit an immaturity and social ineptness due to their learning disability. While seeking acceptance,… Read More »

General Tips on Advocacy by Parents

When we use the term “advocacy,” we are referring both to the ability to persuade other people to accept your point of view, and to the skills and approaches you need when you do research and preparation to support the argument you are presenting or “advocating.” Parents can and should: lobby for adequate resources and staff qualifications support sympathetic staff be a team leader notice what’s being done right be firm but optimistic recognize professional knowledge maintain a provincial/territorial presence ask for recognition of, and information on, the big picture/context resist quick fixes do not overburden your child expect change,… Read More »