| By Gale Staff |
When you’re growing up, it’s hard enough trying to keep up with your peers and succeed in school without having to face additional challenges. But that’s often the reality for students with learning disabilities (LD) and dyslexia. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, approximately 1 in 5 people in the United States have some form of LD.
While October is Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Awareness Month, schools and libraries can raise awareness about these conditions and what can be done to help students throughout the year.
What Are Learning Disabilities?
A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects the way the brain processes information. This can make it difficult for individuals to perform specific tasks, such as reading, writing, and math. LD can also impact memory, organization, and attention span.
There are different types of learning disabilities that can vary in severity. Some common types include dyslexia (difficulty with reading), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing), and dyscalculia (difficulty with math).
What Causes Learning Disabilities?
The exact cause of LD is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It’s important to note that LD is not a result of laziness or lack of intelligence. Rather, it is often the result of the brain not receiving or processing information the same way as others.
Some Resources that Aid LD and Dyslexia
Oftentimes, students with an LD simply need extra support to reach their full potential. Below are resources that can help:
- Large Print Books
- Specialized Learning Programs
- Dyslexia Literacy Programs
- Colored Overlays
- Organization Techniques
Let’s take a closer look at the resources you can implement at your school:
Large Print Books: Large print books can be helpful for children with LD who have difficulty reading standard print. Large print books have larger fonts and more space between lines of text, aiding in comprehension and increasing confidence in young readers. Learn more about how Thorndike Press can help students with reading challenges >>
Technology: There are a variety of technological tools within many Gale resources that can help children with LD. For example, text-to-speech software can assist with reading comprehension by having text read aloud. Speech-to-text software can also be helpful for children who have difficulty writing. Gale resources also allow users to change the document’s text size for increased visibility. Watch the video to learn more:
Tutoring: One-on-one or small group tutoring can be extremely beneficial for children with LD. A tutor can provide the individualized attention and support your child needs to master difficult concepts. For example, a tutor can help a child with dyslexia learn how to phonetically sound out words.
Specialized Learning Programs: Many schools offer specialized programs for children with LD. These programs typically involve small class sizes, individualized instruction, and a focus on accommodations and modifications. Many private schools specialize in educating children with LD.
Dyslexia Literacy Programs: There are several dyslexia literacy programs available to help children with reading difficulties. These programs often use a multisensory approach, which incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements. The Orton-Gillingham method is one of the most popular and effective dyslexia literacy programs.
Colored Overlays: Colored overlays are transparent sheets of color that are placed over text. For some students with dyslexia, this can make the text easier to read by reducing glare and improving contrast. The most popular colors are blue, pink, and yellow.
Organization Techniques: Many children with LD struggle with organization and time management. However, several techniques can help. For example, using a daily planner or calendar designed for those with LD can be helpful for keeping track of assignments and due dates. Using a to-do list can also be beneficial. In addition, color-coding materials can make it easier to find and organize items.
By familiarizing yourself with the resources and accommodations available, you can ensure that your students have the support they need to become confident, lifelong learners.
Learning disabilities and dyslexia can present challenges, but with the right support, children with LD can thrive. During Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Awareness Month and beyond, take the time to learn about the resources and accommodations that are available. By raising awareness about learning disabilities, we can help create a more inclusive society that better understands and supports individuals with these conditions.