Professional Resources

professional-researching-with-laptopHere is a collection of information to assist professionals in advising parents of children with learning disabilities and adults with LD. Also included are articles or papers that you, as a professional serving those with LD, might find helpful in understanding the concerns of your clients.

Scholarships Available for 2017 Annual Conference in Baltimore

Teacher Scholarships LDA is pleased to announce a limited number of scholarships available, to be awarded to active teachers in grades K-12, for our 54th Annual International Conference. Through the generous support of The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, 20 scholarships will be awarded this year. PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS Complete an application (either print or online) and submit it via mail (LDA, 4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234) or email, with accompanying paperwork no later than Friday, November 25, 2016. Letter of recommendation from immediate supervisor (Principal, Assistant Principal, Head of School, Assistant Head of School) must accompany application. Winners will… 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 »

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.

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 »

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 »

Doctor to Doctor: Information on Learning Disabilities for Pediatricians and other Physicians

School is the “workplace” for children and adolescents. Successful school performance is essential for psychological growth and development. Social competency and social skills are developed, then shaped within the family and in school but practiced and mastered in school. Thus, development of a positive self-image and self-esteem is based on successes in school. Feedback from school concerning academic performance and social interactions influences parents’ images of their sons or daughters. Thus, if something interferes with success in school, the impact will affect the emotional, social, and family functioning of this individual. Learning Disabilities (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)… Read More »

Resources for Job Seekers

What resources are available? Due to the national focus of LDA, the resources listed are nationally-based resources. This is not a complete list of resources, but should be a good place to start. Topics covered are internet-accessible job search, Federal employment, workplace accommodations, and other resources to assist people with disabilities who are seeking employment. Included are links to the Office of Disability Employment Policy, Job Hunt, US Office of Personnel Management, Job Accommodation Network (JAN), Pathways to Employment, Getting Hired, Rehabilitation Services Administration, ABILITY Jobs and Jobs Access, US Business Leadership Network, Pathways to Employment, and American Association for… Read More »

Job Accommodation Ideas for People with Learning Disabilities

The term “reasonable accommodations” refers to changes in the workplace that enable people with disabilities to effectively perform the tasks associated with their job. Accommodations can help people with learning disabilities do their job well, even when their disability gets in the way. Accommodations can vary and it is important to choose the right ones to fit your needs.  There are many solutions to help accommodate problems that may get in your way of success. Accommodations can include variations in: the work space and equipment needed to do the task, the communication of the work, the tasks themselves and the… Read More »

SLD Evaluation: Linking Cognitive Assessment Data to Learning Strategies

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)  2004,  and subsequent regulations published August 2006 have significantly changed the way students suspected of having specific learning disabilities (SLD) are identified and found eligible for special education. According to the 2006 IDEA regulations (§300.307) concerning SLD, each state must adopt criteria for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined by §300.8 (c)(10) that: must not require the use of severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in §300.8 (c)(10); must permit the use of a… 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 »

What are Special Needs Trusts?

What is a “Special Needs” Trust? “Special needs” is just a term to describe any trust intended to provide benefits without causing the beneficiary to lose public benefits he or she is entitled to receive. What kinds of public benefits do Special Needs Trust beneficiaries receive? Each Special Needs Trust can be intended to protect different public benefits. Most commonly, Special Needs Trusts are intended to permit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid recipients to receive some additional services or goods. Does the existence of a Special Needs Trust qualify the beneficiary for public benefits? No. The existence of a… Read More »

Special Education Expenses – Tax Deductible or Not?

An IRS private letter ruling dealt with payments to a private school on behalf of two children diagnosed with learning disabilities. The children were attending the private school in order to participate in a special education program designed to help the children deal with their conditions and then progress to a regular school program. The question addressed was whether or not the payments would qualify as tax deductible medical expenses. In the ruling, the IRS clarified that what matters is not the nature of the school but the special education provided to the student. The letter states: “Deductibility of tuition… Read More »

Power of Attorney – Do You Need One?

Adults with learning disabilities most often are legally competent to handle their own affairs. However, a person with a disability may wish to have some assistance from a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend in handling certain matters. For example, an individual with severe mathematics disorder may wish the help of another person in handling financial affairs. Similarly, an individual with a reading disability may wish assistance in interpreting educational, legal or medical documents. Sometimes, arrangements for this help cannot be handled completely informally. Privacy laws, such as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), may prevent another… Read More »

First Steps for Parents When School Problems Are Observed

If a student is having unusual difficulty in school the parent should discuss the situation with the teacher and other school personnel. Most schools have a problem-solving team which works with families in reviewing and solving problems that affect school performance before beginning a formal process of referral for special education and related services as described in IDEA. Problem-solving activities or strategies used by the regular education teacher to address the child’s difficulty may consist of changes in the physical environment, changes in instructional approaches, short-term remedial activities, peer tutoring, or behavioral management plans. Learn more about who serves on… Read More »

The Role of Psychotherapy in the Treatment of ADHD Through the Lifespan

Within the healthcare professions, there has been a movement towards the use of evidenced based or scientifically validated treatments. This movement is reflected in mental health care as well. However, the first wave of empirically supported treatment research has focused rather narrowly on efforts at relieving the specific symptoms used to define diagnosed conditions. While this is certainly a valid means of assessing treatment effectiveness, there are other benefits to be derived from treatment, particularly for individuals with chronic neurologic or medical conditions. For example, we would not argue that someone with a terminal medical condition could not be helped… 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 »

Learning Disabilities in the Workplace

Learning disabilities may make it difficult for an individual to learn, work, or behave in the manner that ordinarily would be expected. A learning disability is an impairment of neurological origin that impacts on specific areas of learning. The following are major types of learning disabilities: A sequencing disorder is a difficulty with the order of a series of things. It may lead to problems with prioritizing, organizing, doing mathematics and following instructions. Language disorders are difficulties with receptive language (understanding and remembering) or with expressive language (oral or in writing). Visual perceptual and visual motor disorders are difficulties with… Read More »