Published on July 22, 2014
You Are Not Alone: Understanding LD
Learning Disabilities Association NYC • Since 1989, we have worked to empower New Yorkers who have learning disabilities become job & life ready. • Our Helpline has been a resource for nearly 25 years, helping parents, children, teens & adults with referrals and information. • In 2010, recognizing there were fewer resources for adults, we decided to focus on older teens and transitioning adults.
What is a Learning Disability? • Learning disabilities (LD) are not one thing, but rather a variety of specific disorders that create real obstacles for success in school, on the job, and in life. • LD is an umbrella term that points to weaknesses in areas such as reading, writing, spelling, math, and other kinds of skills. • LD is a result of differentiated ways that information is processed in the brain.
Did You Know…? • 1 in 7 Americans of all ages have some type of learning disability -- over 44 million individuals.* • Up to 17% of all children in the USA have a learning disability -- nearly 1 in 6.* *National Institute of Health
Did You Know…? • 39% of students with LD drop out of high school without a general diploma. (Natl. Center for Learning Disabilities) • Only 13% of students with LD attend any post-secondary school program. (Natl. Longitudinal Transition Study) • 50% of juvenile delinquents tested were found to have undetected LD. (Natl. Center for State Courts & Ed. Testing Service)
What Do They Have in Common?
“By definition, individuals with a learning disability do not struggle because of low intelligence, poor teaching, lack of motivation or other such factors. Their underachievement is unexpected and unexplained, which is why the term is often misunderstood.” Dr. Sheldon H. Horowitz, National Center for Learning Disabilities
Albert Einstein Could not talk till the age of four. Did not learn to read till nine. Teachers thought of him as a slow learner, unsociable and a dreamer. Failed the entrance examinations to college in his first attempt. Lost three teaching positions. Worked as a patent clerk. Today, Albert Einstein is synonymous with genius.
Types of Learning Disabilities Dyslexia = Reading Disorder Dysgraphia = Disorder of Written Expression Dyscalculia = Mathematics Disorder
Dyslexia = Reading Disorder • Most common LD. • Challenges may be basic: such as having difficulty decoding letters and words or number/letter reversal. • May be complex and involve comprehension difficulties: despite the fact that decoding skills have been mastered.
• Problems in the physical act of writing. • Spelling difficulty. • Difficulty organizing and expressing ideas in writing. • Difficulty generating ideas while writing. Dysgraphia = Disorder of Written Expression
* Wikipedia, Supporting Written Output Challenges with Technology Example of Dysgraphia
Dyscalculia = Mathematics Disorder ● Visual/spatial trouble. ● Difficulty processing and comprehending written problems. ● Problems with retaining math terms and concepts. ● Difficulty following mathematical sequences.
Example 1: 2381 or 2379 Example 2: MMCCCLIV or MMCCCXXXXVII Which Number is Larger?
Are You, a Relative, or Friend “1 in 7”?
Don’t Let LD Go Undiagnosed Early Intervention Is KEY! The earlier you get an educational assessment, the sooner you can learn more about your strengths & weaknesses. An educational assessment determines your specific learning disabilities and identifies personalized strategies and techniques to help you at school, work and in social situations.
“I was diagnosed with Dyslexia when I was 6” “I worked hard to get the better of it and by the time I got to secondary school, it was much better. I can read and write - badly - but I'm fine reading scripts.” - Keira Knightley, Actress
How Can You Help? • Once LD is diagnosed, provide emotional & psychological support. • Research assistive technology. • Ask for accommodations. • Promote advocacy. • Contact LDANYC & change your life.
Emotional & Psychological Support • Gather information on learning disabilities. • Give positive reinforcement. • Acknowledge difficulties & set realistic yet, challenging goals. • Encourage growth & talk!
Research Assistive Technology Assistive technology is any piece of equipment or software program that helps people with learning disabilities communicate better. • Software: Inspiration, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Read & Write Gold, Kurzweil 3000, Ginger Software • Hardware: Livescribe Pen, Keyboard Filters, Screen Enlargers, Screen Readers
Advocate for Accommodations • Ask for extended time on exams, private studying & testing locations, note takers, tape recordings, alternative formats/ texts & assistive technology. • More than likely you will have to advocate for the use of one or more of these reasonable accommodations. • Learn to be an advocate & teach self-advocacy!
Contact LDANYC & Change Your Life Start by Calling Our FREE HELPLINE 212-645- 6730 For over 23 years, we have used our Free LD Helpline to answer your questions about learning disabilities and provide reliable information, guidance, referrals and ongoing support.
Learn About Our Life-changing Programs At LDANYC, we provide assistance on every aspect of LD including: • Educational evaluations/assessments • Educational tutoring and accommodations • Career and job counseling • Career and vocational training • Job search coaching • On-the-job accommodations • Legal matters • Life skills • Social programs and more
Meet With LDANYC’s LD Experts Sheila Steinhof, MS Vice President Programs Lauren Sigal, MS Learning Specialist Lenin Gross Director of Career Support Sully Diaz Director of Educational Support
Tour LDANYC’s Learning Lab
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Tiasia O’Brien Community Outreach Coordinator LDANYC 237 W. 35th Street, Suite 1101 | New York, NY 10001 Contact Me firstname.lastname@example.org 212-645-6730
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