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This LD Awareness Month: U.S. Department of Education Recognizes the 1 in 5

Written by NCLD Policy Team | October 5, 2015

This October marks the beginning of an important month for the 1 in 5 students across the country who have learning and attention issues. This includes the 2.5 million who have specific learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. It also includes the 6 million who have been diagnosed with ADHD.

October is LD Awareness Month, ADHD Awareness Month, and Dyslexia Awareness Month.

To recognize the importance of this month and to raise awareness for the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues,  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a powerful statement.

“This is a time for parents, educators, and policymakers to understand how these disabilities impact students and their families, to reflect on the significant achievements that these students have made, and to renew our commitment to creating a stronger future for them.” – Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Additionally, Secretary Duncan mentioned that the U.S. Department of Education will be issuing new information to help states and school districts in addressing students with learning disabilities—such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.  Earlier this year, NCLD and other organizations asked the Department to issue guidance about the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.

Even though students with learning and attention issues face some challenges in certain areas of learning –  like reading, writing, or math – these students often have great skills and talents. In her blog for the U.S. Department of Education this month, McKenzie Erickson shares her story about overcoming dyslexia and truly accepting who she is, with her many strengths and challenges.

“This LD Awareness Month, I encourage all teachers to consider which of their students might have dyslexia. …Help them to identify and celebrate their interests and strengths. …I urge all students with learning disabilities to pursue activities that you enjoy. Believe in your ability to learn. Use your voice to increase awareness and understanding of the whole of dyslexia.” – McKenzie Erickson

Raising awareness among educators, parents, and the general public can help us create a world where children with learning disabilities – like dyslexia – and attention issues – like ADHD – are truly accepted, understood, and able to thrive.

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