Learning Disabilities
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Definition:

  • IDEA '04 : Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including such conditions as perceptual abilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability doesnot include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disabilities; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
  • National Institutes of Health : Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention.
Possible Causes:
Mental health professionals stress that since no one knows what causes learning disabilities, it doesn't help parents to look backward to search for possible reasons. There are too many possibilities to pin down the cause of the disability with certainty. It is far more important for the family to move forward in finding ways to get the fight help.
Prevalence:
Currently, almost 2.9 million school-aged children in the United States are classified as having specific learning disabilities and receive some kind of special education support. In fact, over half of all children who receive special education have a learning disability.

Characteristics:

Consensus is growing that unexpected achievement is the defining characteristic of learning disabilities. Although some students have problems in only one academic area, most have pervasive problems that affect the entire range of academic and social domains. Despite individual differences, some common characteristics are seen.

  • frustrations with difficulties of learning academic tasks that seem easily understood and mastered by classmates

  • difficulty understanding relationship between effort and accomplishment
  • inattentive, distractable, disorganized
  • difficulty with generalizaton (transferring new learning to different skills or situations)
  • trouble with information processing or memory difficulties; how students receive, organize, and store information to aid in recalling it
  • about 3/4 of students with learning disabilities have problems with social skills

Resources


Categories of Resources

Link

Description

Disability Specific Information

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  1. LD Online :: What is a Learning Disability
  2. Learning Disabilities Association of America
  3. Learning about Learning Disabilities
  4. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities.
  5. Identification of Learning Disabilities
  6. Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years
  7. A Mind at a Time
  8. It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend
  9. Learning Disabilities Book and Video List - Recommended for those wanting more information on learning disabilities
  1. This website gives general information about learning disabilities as well as lists several different types of disabilities that a child can have. It also gives you signs to look for in your child at different grade levels. GIves tips on how to respond to discovering that your child has a learning disability as well as a breif description of people who would be able to provide servies. Finally the link provides tips to help your child perform better in school and several other outside links for additional information.
  2. This website has so much general information about learning disabilities. It is unimaginable to think that this website wouldn't be a help to parents. However this site isn't only for parents! It has sections for teachers and other professionals too! It even has a bookstore where parents can find books to help. There is also information about annual conferences.
  3. This book written by Bernice Y L Wong gave an interesting insight into the world of learning disabilities. Unlike most books about learning disabilities this book gave a brief history of learning disabilities as a whole. This is a topic often over looked that surely parents would be willing to learn about. The book proceeds to discuss the multitude of hardships experienced by a child with a learning disability.
  4. This book written by the joint effort of Carol Turkington and Joseph R Harris is essential to any parent of a child with a disability. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities provides vital information about any variety of learning disabilities. The encyclopedia is written in a friendly manner which was easy to navigate by myself. The book avoids technical jargon and confusion with any acronyms. However a Glossary is available for parents potential use.
  5. The book Identification of Learning Disabilities is written by Renee Bradley, Louis Danielson, and Daniel R Hallahan. This book is all about learning disabilities and how to identify them. This book also has a section about the history of learning disabilities. Another very important section that is crucial for new parents of a disabled child is the section on Early Identification and Intervention. The entire book is very useful and would be easy for a parent to read.
  6. Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years seems like a very helpful book. It is written by two women named Joan Shapiro and Rebecca Rich. This particular book could provide some wonderful insight to some parents in need during transition time for their children. It also could be read by their children if they do not have a reading disability. This book focuses on things like the importance of the correct diagnosis, and the role of Learning Disabilities in higher education.
  7. A Mind at a Time is a book written by Melvin D Levine who is said to be one of the top educational specialists of his time. In his eye opening book he explains easily how any child can succeed no matter what his or her difficulty may be. This is an encouraging read for parents and an educational one at that. This book also could mean a miraculous change for teachers.
  8. At first this book seems cruel but when you move beyond the cover you can find an educational oasis full of information about the social aspect of being a child with a learning disability. This book includes the benefits of a normal social life for any child especially those who may have learning disabilities. It also includes practical strategies for making and maintaining friends in the school, home, or community environment. Also included are several methods for maintaining relationships that have been proven to work.
Education and Servicesexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSIxnjwr0qVxbMLwowWc-lg0WYYGzg6cM3gw7WK0ILv0V-72VY&t=1&usg=__DG3nGt5gdARZjm0BRpYQy2F8SQU=
  1. Montgomery County Services
  2. Providing Independence Through Technology
  3. Speech Bananas Therapies
  4. Text to Speech
  5. Kurzweil
  1. This website is specific for Montgomery County. It is all about services available in that specific area. There are links to support groups and to other services like testing and diagnostics services. On the side bar there are also many very helpful looking links for residents of Montgomery County. There is a liknk specific to education, a link specific to seniors, and even a link specific to online services.
  2. This website is great for students who are tech savvy or could benefit greatly from any sort of technology. This program mainly focuses on enriching children with learning disabilities lives. This website has links for individuals and families, teachers and professionals, and service providers and organizations. They also have an entire page devoted to explaining their services and everything they offer.
  3. This website is great specifically for students who suffer from multiple learning disabilities including problems with speech and hearing. These are services that you can order and can get them anywhere you live for home use and even in the classroom if they are approved by the school for classroom use. This website grants access to studies and research about their products, testimonies from real people about their products, and also a list of their products. These products can greatly decrease the mount of distractions experienced by children who may have ADD or ADHD along with hearing and speech problems. Things like these can also assist English Language Learners and any child that suffers from pretty much any learning disability.
  4. This is a website all about a service that would be great for students who have learning disabilities that interfere with reading abilities. The product is called Text to Speech software. Not only is this product usable for everyday book listening but it would be crucial for any child struggling with reading. This product seems simple but it could make the world of difference for a child! The software is programable to have many different voices. The child is able to pick which one he or she wants. This website consists of testimonials from product users, a support page, and many user forums.
  5. This last resource is an amazing reading comprehension and text reading program called Kurzweil. This particular software caters specifically to the needs of children with Dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder. It also caters to children who happen to be English Language Learners (ELL). This is also a resource that is accessible no matter where you live or what school you attend. But this isn't just any old text reading software! It assists students who struggle with writing and even study skills! This website has links to research about their multiple products as well as customer testimonials and an opportunity for you to receive a free trial! All in all this website is a great source of information about the Kurzweil products and how they can change a students life.
Local Support Groups and Educational Conferences 

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  1. The Learning Disabilities Association of Montgomery County MD
  2. Special Needs Advocacy Training for Parents and Professionals
  3. Parents Helping Parents
  4. Olney Exceptional K.I.D.S.
  5. Council of Learning Disabilities - Maryland Chapter
  1. This is a non-profit organization that offers a ton of information for parents of children with learning disabilities, as well as support groups, news letters and a list of events happening around the county that parents may find beneficial for their child.
  2. This is a link for classes which will help parents learn the skills and information that they will need to be the best advocate for their child's needs. Being a parent of a child who requires special educational services can be overwhelming and confusing at times, these classes will help parents learn what they need to do to ensure that their child does not get left behind. The website explains what parents can learn from this class and how it will benefit them and their childs future. The website also provides a link for online registration.
  3. Parents Helping Parents (PHP) is a parent-directed non-profit resource center offering educational programs, health related services, and support networks for children and adults with special needs. PHP empowers families to become effective advocates and helps both children and adults with special needs reach their full potential and find their valuable place in society.
  4. Olney Exceptional K.I.D.S. (Kids in Dynamic Situations) is a support group for families that include children with learning and developmental disabilities. The group meets on the third Thursday evening of every month at the Olney Community Library, to share experiences and develop knowledge on issues related to raising children with special needs. For more information please call (301)924-4824. Address: 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd. Olney, MD
  5. The CLD is an international organization concerned with issues related to students with learning disabilities. Members of CLD are committed to standards of excellence and innovation in educational research, practice, and policy. Building a better future for students with LD has been the goal of CLD for over 30 years. Maryland Chapter President: Roberta Strosnider, 5604 Broadmoor Terrace Dr. Ijamsville MD 21754, rstrosnider@towson.edu
Recrational and Community-
Based Resources

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  1. The Parents' Place of Maryland
  2. Special Olympics Maryland - Program Locator
  3. Outreach at the Summit School - Serving Bright Students with Dyslexia and Other Learning Differences
  4. Future Events Calendar - The Learning Disabilities Associaion of Montgomery County, MD
  5. Caring Communities
  1. If you have a child with a disability, or if you want to help parents who do, you have come to the right place. Behind this home page is a wealth of information and loads of support from people who care. The Parents’ Place is Maryland’s Parent Center and is committed to improving the lives of children with disabilities and special health care needs.
  2. Special Olympics Maryland offers programs throughout the state that provide opportunities for athletes, families, and coaches. This is a link to the program locator, where programs are categorized by counties in Maryland.
  3. The Summit School is located in Edgewater, Maryland. Each July, the Summit School hosts a month-long academic and recreational summer camp program. Summer camp is offered to both students of the school and the community at-large.
  4. This link will take you to the Association's homepage. On the bottom right hand corner is a link to the events calendar for future months. The events take place in the local community and include activities such as open houses, webinars, workshops, outreach programs, etc. All events are listed with a date, time, description, address, and contact information.
  5. This is an organization in Maryland that holds events and has a newsletter informing the community of upcoming events for children with disabilities, including learning disabilities.
Funding/Legal Advocacy

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  1. Learning Disabilities Scholarships
  2. Wrightslaw
  3. Advocating for your child
  4. Social Security Benefits
  5. D.R.E.D.F
  1. This source provides links and information about national scholarships awarded to students with Learning Disabilities interested in continuing education after high school.
  2. This link takes you to the Wrightslaw site, which provides up to date easy to understand information for parents of children with learning disabilities about laws that have been designed to protect their rights.
  3. This link is full of success stories from parents of children with learning disabilities, as well as useful information as to how parents can advocate for their children. There are useful links for advocating for your child when they are in pre-school, than grade school. There is even a link for the actual student when they get old enough to advocate for themselves.
  4. This is a link to a booklet that has been converted to an online version to increase accessability. This booklet explains three ways that parents can recieve benefits from social security for thier child.
  5. D.R.E.D.F (Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund) is an organization full of informational links educating parents about the rights that their children have and how to best protect those rights.