About Learning Disabilities
The Reading BootCamp has been designed and staffed with educational experts specializing in reading, learning disabilities including dyslexia, early childhood development and school psychology. Our goal is to offer your child the best opportunity to learn and excel. We know that it can be difficult and frustrating, as a parent, to see your child struggle when all you want is the absolute best for them.
Sometimes parents and family members are not familiar with different types of learning disabilities or difficulties and may not know how to look for red flags or the best approach help them. , When students are identified early on and receive accurate evaluations and individual learning plans, they can have much success. We believe that with appropriate intervention students can make improvements and potentially overcome their learning difficulties.
If your child has been assessed or tested for a learning disability, we encourage you to share that information with us so we can develop the best learning plan for your child. Also, if the testing was conducted some time ago or not at all, we can test and assess your child.
The information below is from the LD Online website www.ldonline.org and offers a nice overview of learning disabilities.
What is a Learning Disability?
A learning disability is a neurological disorder. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person's brain is "wired." Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
A learning disability can't be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life. Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.
Not all great minds think alike!
Did you know that Albert Einstein couldn't read until he was nine? Walt Disney, General George Patton, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller had trouble reading all their lives. Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Schwab and many others have learning disabilities, which haven't affected their ultimate success.
Facts about learning disabilities:
- Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
- Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
- Learning disabilities often run in families.
- Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as autism, intellectual disability, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities. In addition, they should not be confused with lack of educational opportunities like frequent changes of schools or attendance problems. Also, children who are learning English do not necessarily have a learning disability.
- Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.
Sally Shaywitz, M.D. wrote The Science of Reading and Dyslexia. Below you will find some additional information from Dr. Shaywitz about learning disabilities and dyslexia.
What Do You Do if You Suspect a Reading Problem in Your Child?
- Do not wait. Early on, a child who has difficulty learning the names of the letters and the sounds associated with each letter or letter group, and doesn’t seem to be able to learn how to sound out words, should be considered at-risk and assessed for a possible reading problem.
- Children learn about 3000 new words a year; in the US, children tend to be identified as dyslexic in third grade or later. This means that these struggling readers are already behind in learning ten thousand or so words.
- Early on, have a Speech Pathologist involved to assess spoken language. As a child matures and seems to be struggling with reading and exhibiting the difficulties in spoken and/or written language noted previously, that child should receive a full evaluation for the possibility of dyslexia.
- An additional consideration in making the diagnosis is the role of attention. Attention is critical for learning to read as part of the process itself.
- There is a significant overlap or high “co-morbidity” between the occurrence of dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
What is Dyslexia?
- Developmental Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading.
- Most common and most carefully studied of the learning disabilities, affecting 80% of all individuals identified as learning disabled.
The Basic Facts About Dyslexia:
- Dyslexia occurs in gradations
- Many struggling readers are not identified by their schools; Connecticut Longitudinal Study (CLS) found that one in five children was dyslexic; Children receiving special educational services is about 5%
Below are some specific clues to dyslexia noted in reading:
- Slow progress in acquiring reading skills
- Lack a strategy to read new, unknown words-trouble sounding out unfamiliar words
- Inability to read small, so-called function words such as: that, an, in
- Terrific fear of reading aloud; avoidance of oral reading
- Oral reading filled with mispronunciations, omissions, substitutions
- Oral reading that is choppy and sounds like reading a foreign language
- Reliance on context to discern the meaning of what is read
- Disproportionate poor performance on multiple choice tests
- Slow reading
- Reading is tiring
- Inability to finish tests on time—doesn’t finish or rushes and makes careless errors; final test grade does not reflect person’s knowledge of the topic
- Disastrous spelling
- Homework that never seems to end; parent recruited as reader
- Messy handwriting despite what may be an excellent facility at word processing
- Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language
- Avoidance of reading for pleasure
- Reading effortful, demands extra attention and concentration to read
- Requires quiet environment to concentrate on reading (continued on next page)
- Reading accuracy improves over time, though it continues to lack fluency and remains laborious and slow
- Development of anxiety, especially in test-taking situations
- History of problems in reading, spelling, foreign language learning in family members
If you know or want to confirm if your child has a learning disability or simply needs help with learning difficulties, please complete the “Contact Us” form and we can begin discussing your child’s unique learning opportunities, our program specifics and how to register your child for tutoring or testing.