All of us on the NCLD team have learned so much this year because so many of you—parents, educators and other advocates—have shared your insights, questions, concerns and encouragement. Thank you!
As 2012 draws to a close, I can’t think of a better way to end it than by letting some of you have the last word. All I ask is that you keep talking to us in 2013. We’ll be listening!
My children with LD are mainstreamed but receive many pull-out services (such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, adaptive phys. ed., social skills instruction) and I’m concerned about whether it might be more beneficial to have them in a smaller, self-contained classroom with more push-in services. Any advice?
I have learning disabilities and grew up in a household that does not believe that learning disabilities exist. My parents would say, "If you would just pay attention and try harder, you would be able to do it.” I grew up believing I was stupid, and as a young adult, I am still plagued by these feelings. I know that awareness about LD has increased, but we (the education community and society in general) still have a long way to go.
My 9 year old with LD and AD/HD is quick to say that she is "stupid” and all the praise and encouragement we give her seems not to help. The real issue seems to come from her being bullied and taken advantage of in school. I wish we knew what to do. Watching her suffer at school when this should be a fun time in her life is just heartbreaking.
My dyslexia wasn’t discovered until I was in college, even though I often got very frustrated and threw tantrums. My teachers either thought I was dumb or not trying hard enough and pretty much wrote me off so I could become the next year teacher’s problem. My English professor encouraged me to get tested and here I am, still struggling but a college graduate and on my way back to school to study veterinary medicine. This happened to me, and maybe my story can convince others that LD is very real and deserves serious attention.
My child (who struggles with executive function skills) is repeatedly being punished in school for forgetting to bring a book or pencil to class from his locker. He is convinced his teacher doesn't like him and has a behavior contract (which of course he forgets to bring home so we never see it and therefore can’t sign it). We were advised to take a “hands off” approach and let him bear the consequences of his actions. I can’t count the number of times he’s had in-school suspension for being unprepared, but am horrified by this because he is being punished for behaving in ways that precisely reflect the nature of his disability! Do we need more testing to be done? Should we refuse to allow the school to continue suspending him? What’s a parent to do?
Our son recently had testing that found him to have very high abilities in some areas (as high as the 99th percentile) but very slow information processing speed while reading (the 2nd percentile for his grade level). We thought that his slow speed doing tasks had to do with an underlying AD/HD, but maybe not. What are some good resources to learn more about slow processing speed and what we can do to help him?
I’m worried that the upcoming, revised version of the DSM is going to make it even more difficult for those of us who do testing and provide services to students with LD. How will the new manual, which includes many specific disorders under a new “Learning Disorders” category, impact our ability to do our work in support of school-aged children?
My son is a senior at a college prep type Catholic high school and doing really well, but he has needed to be his own advocate and has “taught” his teachers and administrators how successful he (and others) can be with accommodations. At first, we were all upset that he wasn’t “normal” and we went through a real grieving process, denying there was a problem, feeling angry, depressed and sad. He turned us around with his courage and self-determination, and we were then able to accept and embrace his LD. Not easy, but wise. One big hurdle is how to deal with disclosure. Most people have no idea there is a disability, as LD is a truly hidden disability.
My 5th grade son has a very in-depth 504 plan and the school refuses to grant him an IEP, saying that his disorder (disability) is not severe enough to qualify for Special Education. I have no idea what to do and have been fighting with the school since he was in first grade. He gets electronic text books but they are not always available (because they are not yet scanned or recorded). Will having an IEP help the process of getting him the materials he needs? Is copyright making this a bigger problem? Are there some assistive technology solutions we don’t yet know about?
Everyone has been telling me that my child will “outgrow” his learning problems. He’s repeatedly been denied an IEP and a 504 plan and I’ve been told that there is no need for more testing. I can’t afford to pay for private testing and am watching my child sitting in class as lessons just pass him by. Isn’t there something I can do to stop this from happening? At this rate, there is no way she (and others like her) will be prepared for high school graduation with a regular diploma. We need to take a stand about our kids and the public education we are paying for. What can we do to make sure that the system is not selling our kids short?
My 9 year old daughter has a trouble with visual processing and we’re in the process of creating a 504 plan. We’ve already had some trouble getting follow through from teachers, and I think that’s because we’re still looking for the right types of accommodations for her. Where can we go to get guidance about what’s out there and proven to work? And who can help us know how to build these accommodations and tools into our home life to make things easier for her?
So glad I came to the LD.org website. Our son is 10 years old and having trouble translating what he reads to writing it. He was mortified that he is going to have testing done through the school system (peer's & all) and asked that we wait until the summer so he can stay under the radar). He has gone from a happy, social kid to someone who is "invisible" and "falling through space" in a matter of months. His dad, grandfather & great-grandfather all have/had Dyslexia. You are so spot on with your encouragement that families not wait to discover LD, point to the importance of knowing your rights and being a strong advocate, building partnerships with schools and remembering that LD is a family affair.