LDA Today - November/December 2014

As we near the end of the first year of the online version of the LDA newsletter, we hope that you have enjoyed the many articles and perspectives provided you.

This issue features an article on the February 2015 52nd Annual International Conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. It provides the highlights of the conference – something you really don’t want to miss attending. You will find additional information and plans in the Affiliate Support/Membership article as well as in the Healthy Children Project item on the HBO Documentary Toxic Hot Seat special event, and the LDA Adult Topics Committee conference workshop Who Owns the Future?

President Nancie Payne’s message expresses her appreciation of the many hours devoted by so many volunteers and the National Office staff to achieving the goals and mission of LDA. Nominations are still being accepted for the Harrison Sylvester Award with details provided in the article. The various activities from many of our state affiliates are highlighted in Across the States. What great things are happening in so many of our cities and states!

Two of our members have shared their journeys as parents of children with learning disabilities that hopefully other parents will find reassuring and helpful. Yet another parent has written a helpful piece on getting your teen with LD/ADHD ready for college. Families may find helpful tips in the article on Coping with the Holiday Season.

Our Public Policy Director has written of Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the new process by which the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education evaluates states' performance in meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This is an issue that state affiliates need to be familiar with and be a part of the process in the coming year.

The candidates for the Officers and Board of Directors for 2015-2016 are introduced in this issue with their biographical information scheduled for the January/February issue.

May you and your loved ones enjoy a Holiday Season of Peace and Contentment.

If you have a suggestion for an article or a topic, please feel free to write us at info@ldaamerica.org.

Shirley Hilts-Adams
Editor

LDA President’s Message

  “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” W.T. Purkiser After nine months as the President of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, I would like to take this opportunity to share with each of you what I am most thankful for throughout these past months.  In gratitude: For the Staff of the LDA – they are hardworking, diligent and dedicated to the vision and mission of the organization.  Without their knowledge, skills, and abilities the organization would not accomplish nearly as much.  It is through their efforts… Read More »

The Windy City Welcomes LDA

The proposals have been reviewed, the speakers have been selected, the venue has been toured and exhibitors have secured their booths.  Now it’s time for you to register for the 52nd Annual International Conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. The conference, which runs from February 18-21, 2015, is for both parents and professionals. It will be held at the Hilton Chicago. Be sure to book your hotel reservations no later than Wednesday, January 28, to receive the special conference rate. The early-bird conference registration rate ends January 26.  Complete details can be found online, where you can register… Read More »

Across the States

The month of October is yearly designated as Disabilities month and in keeping with the concept, the Learning Disability Community takes this opportunity to celebrate those who have overcome these diversities and heighten the awareness of others about the meaning of learning disabilities. During October our country was abuzz with activities.  Manchester, New Hampshire, hosted a wonderful conference for over 200 entitled, Executive Functioning: Impact on Academic Performance.  Dr. Richard Guare provided individuals with support to better understand the functioning challenges that affect a person’s academic performance.  Massachusetts will be following with their own conference in November.  New Jersey sponsored… Read More »

Coping with the Holiday Season

One of the biggest concerns of parents at various times of the year is how to live through the holidays.  Good preparation and laying a foundation will help to make the holidays more meaningful.  Holidays also provide a way to integrate learning with family activities. As we approach the holidays, a common complaint of adults about children is that they expect too much.  “His gift list stretches into the next county!”  “Do they think we are made of money?”  Children’s expectations are fueled by the media, especially television and catalogs.  However, expectations also arise from parents frantically worrying about gifts… Read More »

State Directors Comment on RDA Determination Process

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) has released results of conversations with its members on the early implementation of the new Results Driven Accountability (RDA) system.  RDA is the new process by which the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education evaluates states’ performance in meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  In addition to RDA, states must also develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) as part of their State Performance Plans, which requires states identify one or more state-specific indicators on which to focus their… Read More »

I am Not Alone

I have struggled with being the mom of an LD child. There…I have written it now and it is in the open. I have thought about writing this and having it in the world for all to see and then, as soon as I think it, I retract my thoughts. How can I write such a thing? How can I let others know such thoughts? I am supposed to be my child’s advocate and his strength. Today, I am nothing more than a crumpling mom of fear and emotions. And for as often as I am the strong mom…the advocate… Read More »

College-Bound for the LD/ADHD Teen: Advice from a Parent

   Embarking on the college search can be an intense yet exciting time for any parent with a junior or senior in high school.  For the typical teen, a list is made; college tours are scheduled, tests taken, applications completed and choices made once the acceptances roll in.  For a parent who has a teen with a learning or attention issue, it can also be exciting but it can also be difficult, confusing, painful and at times, heartbreaking.  Our journey to find the “right fit” for our son has brought a myriad of emotions and we haven’t even submitted any… Read More »

Candidates for 2015-2016 LDA Officers and Board Members

The LDA Nominating Committee is pleased to introduce the candidates who will be placed in nomination at the Assembly of Delegates during the Annual Meeting, February 19, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. The Committee worked diligently to select candidates who bring a variety of skills and experience to their respective positions and to the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Nancie Payne, Washington will serve her second year as President, and Patricia Latham, Florida, will remain on the Executive Committee as Past President. Additional information on the candidates will be available in the next issue of LDA… Read More »

HBO Documentary “Toxic Hot Seat” and Chicago Tribune Investigative Reporters Featured at Special LDA Conference Event

Flame retardant chemicals are in our couches and chairs in amounts measured in pounds. The chemicals migrate from upholstered furniture into household dust, and from there into our bodies and our children’s bodies.  These chemicals are found in pregnant women, in umbilical cord blood and in breast milk. Why does that matter?  In the last five years, three major studies of pregnant women and children in the U.S. all reached the same conclusion: children exposed in the womb to flame retardant chemicals showed measurable decreases in IQ and increases in hyperactivity. These cognitive and behavioral problems – like the chemical… Read More »

Affiliate Support/Membership Committee

The much anticipated International Conference of LDA of America in Chicago is fast approaching. Much planning is taking place to make this conference a very rewarding, informative, and worthwhile event.  One only has to browse through the conference book to realize that an incredible lineup of speakers and lecturers is in place.  There are also other very worthwhile activities, events, and opportunities being planned for its members and state affiliates. First and foremost, LDA realizes that its members are its most important asset and is making plans for a very special event to honor its valuable members throughout the world. … Read More »

Who Owns the Future? Employers Reflect on Jobs of the Future

This conference panel presentation will offer participants a keen understanding and appreciation of how leading corporations are gearing up to prepare their organizations and employees as they transition to the “next generation” of jobs.  Dr. Christopher Lee, the executive director of AMAC Accessibility Solutions at the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture, will facilitate the panel.  Dr. Lee is an expert on disability inclusion and accommodations. Dr. Lee has been an advocate and pioneer in promoting social entrepreneurship to benefit humankind and further strives for sustainable social change in the field of disabilities.  Why does Dr. Lee care about… Read More »

Now Accepting Nominations for the Harry Sylvester Award

This award honors and recognizes an adult with learning disabilities who has shown a strong dedication and commitment to advancing the issues of adults with learning disabilities. It is the wish of LDA to thank, in Harry Sylvester’s name, an adult with learning disabilities for his/her commitment to those living with learning disabilities. The Harrison Sylvester Award was created in 2010 to honor Harry Sylvester, a gentle but strong voice in the field of learning disabilities. Harry discovered in his mid 50’s, after struggling for most of life, that he was an adult with learning disabilities. With the knowledge of his… Read More »

Help Support LDA, Donate to our Silent Auction

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is asking for your support! Your donations will help give the gift of success to millions of individuals affected by learning disabilities. LDA provides information, support and advocacy to create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities.  We happen to believe that every person with a learning disability can succeed in school, at work, in relationships, and within the community when provided the right opportunities…and your help will give them that opportunity. Becoming one of our donors will allow you to: Spotlight you or your organization’s name and brand at a gathering… Read More »

LDA Makes it Possible! Annual Fall Appeal

My name is Sylvia Youngblood and I am the mother of four children, one girl and three boys, all of whom have Specific Learning Disabilities. Two of my children have moved on to post secondary education and are doing well. My youngest two boys are in middle and high school. They are currently in appropriate placements and are facing their challenges head on with the confidence that they can persevere with the use of their success attributes. I am a member of LDA because I find support from people who also live with my struggles to advocate for their children to have a safe… Read More »