"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach

Learning disabilities often causes a reading disability. If the disability is language based then speech and reading can be affected as well.

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If a person has a problem learning, then reading is going to be difficult for them because reading is a learned process. The whole language community tells us that kids will just "get reading" through the process of being around it. That is only true for about 25% of the students.


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Learning disabilities, now also called learning challenges, include ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, autism, apraxia, and Asperger's. Other learning challenges would also include processing problems, both auditory and brain functioning.

Learning difficulties refer to those students who just have a hard time learning but haven't yet been diagnosed with a learning disability.

Slow learners, those often left behind, are the students who may have missed a lot of school for one reason or another. These students have lost some of the basic foundational material needed for their academic growth. When they can't "catch up", they fall behind.

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If you are in need of an advocate to help you through the IEP process, please visit Understanding Learning Disabilities.

Licensed Educational Psychologist, Etta Brown, has put her knowledge of 20 years of working with learning disabled children and their parents into this fabulous book. If you don’t have time to read the book, she has valuable information on her website to peruse. She is an expert on the IEP process. She is available by phone, fax or e-mail for consultations.


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Any learning disability, learning challenge and learning difficulty can cause a student to have difficulties in school. If avoided for too long of a time, the problem becomes serious.

Often the student will become discouraged and give up. You may hear them say, "I'm so stupid!" Don't ignore these outbursts. They are cries for help. If they say it, they usually truly believe it.

There are two things you can do to help your child immediately. One is to help motivate your child. Sometimes, reading stories with her about famous people who have struggled with reading will help. Check out the reading motivation page. There are some children's books that have been written by authors who struggled with a reading and/or learning disability(ies). Patricia Polacco is one of these authors.

First tell the child about the author's struggles. Then read a story or two that the author has written so your child can see how talented that author is. Many times, the author will have written a book telling of his/her struggles with reading.

The second thing you can do to help your child immediately is to get help from a reading specialist as soon as possible. Getting intervention early when the student is struggling is essential for that student's academic success.

DID YOU KNOW: Thirty-eight percent (38%) of children with learning challenges drop out of high school. 50% of adults are unable to read at the 8th grade level. Sixty percent of inmates are functioning illiterates.

Functioning illiterate means that someone can read just enough to buy groceries, read a traffic sign and maybe even read simple notes. But the reading level of a functioning illiterate is below the 5th grade. Most can't even fill out a job application correctly.


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There are other web sites that dedicate their entire site to specific disabilities. I have looked at many of them. Some of the web sites are more technical than others. I have looked at the following sites and am impressed with these:

ADD/ADHD Awareness:
A man's own account of his lifelong experience with ADHD.

Apraxia Speaks:
Learn more about the childhood neurological condition of verbal apraxia and how it relates to dyslexia.

Autism Speaks:
Quoted from the site: "Autism Speaks is the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families."

Overcoming Learning Disabilities:
Site's Mission Statement The purpose of this site is to empower parents and students of all ages to face tomorrow with confidence and competence in their ability to learn. The site also explains therapy methods, types of LD, helps for parents and much more information.

Understanding Special Education:
A public school counselor and administrator created this educational website for parents of children with disabilities offering guidance on special education, learning disabilities, and the IEP process.

Jenny Lu Designs:
Jenny has Williams Syndrome and she loves art. Her step-mother is an artist and helped Jenny design this website because Jenny wanted to raise money for charities. You will find hand crafted jewelry, greeting cards, note cards, mugs, caps, calendars created by Jenny Lu. Of course, you will find original Jenny Lu artwork as well. This site shows the possibilities of kids with disabilities.

Other links can be found at Educational Websites.

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