NEED TO KNOW
Learning disabilities are common and can have a substantial impact on learning.
There are many types of learning disabilities and learning difficulties.
Support is available at BrainBoost and in schools for students with learning disabilities.
We have a great deal of experience working with students who have learning disabilities.
Working with Learning Disabilities
1) What kinds of Learning Disabilities may my child have?
Learning Disabilities (LD) come in many different forms. A Learning Disability is any condition that “may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information” (Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, 2002). In other words, any disorder that may cause a student serious extra challenges in the areas of:
- Oral Language (listening, speaking)
- Written language (spelling, expression, written output)
- Mathematics (problem solving, computation)
- Organizational skills
- Social understanding
- Focus and attention
2) How do I know if my child has a Learning Disability?
For a student to be given an LD designation, they must have had a psycho-educational assessment conducted by a psychologist. This will produce a document with a summary of the student’s ‘abilities’ in a variety of areas thought important to learning. The document will also contain a series of suggested strategies. It’s important to note that the field of psycho-educational testing is fraught with controversy, and there is still debate about what constitutes a learning disability, and how best to measure it.
3) What other supports are available for students with LD?
Whether your child is working in a regular ‘brick and mortar’ school or at a Distributed Learning school, the Special Needs Coordinator should put together an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This document should be created in collaboration with the student’s family, teachers and other professionals. It contains information about individualized goals, directions to teachers regarding extra supports or modifications, and much more. Once a student has an IEP, the Ministry of Education will release funding to the appropriate school to cover the cost of providing extra support. There are also a variety of financial options for kids with Learning Disabilities (see links below).
4) What is BrainBoost’s approach to working with students with LD?
We take LDs very seriously. We know they are real, and often a significant stressor in a student’s social, personal and academic life. However, we also know that they can be overcome. Even though a ‘cure’ or ‘treatment’ isn’t possible, we know that most LDs can be successfully dealt with to allow students to achieve.
We take a personal approach to working with students with LDs. Two students with dyslexia can have hugely different challenges. Over the years we have built a strong competence in reading and interpreting psych-ed assessments. We also have a variety of education options which can be pieced together to find the best combination for each student: one-to-one tutoring, small group classes and supported independent study spaces. Additionally, our tutors are experienced in working with a variety of Learning Disabilities.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Check out the following links to get a better understanding about the diagnosis and available support for Learning Disabilities:
Various student aid options for students in post-secondary education