Friday, October 9, 2009

Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month here in the U.S. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, and stating

"Awareness of learning disabilities is one of the most important advances in education in recent years. As more and more Americans become aware, our citizens with learning disabilities will have greater opportunity to lead full and productive lives and to make a contribution to our society."

Increased awareness - better educational programs - greater opportunities! That's the idea, and we can all play a role in making it a reality. For Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, we encourage all of our readers to participate; here are some ideas:
  • Increase your own awareness - educate yourself about different types of learning disabilities, programs that are appropriate to remediate learning deficits, etc. Check out LD Online, the Learning Disabilities Association, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities as good starting place. Or go to your local library and check out books on learning disabilities. Each of the websites listed above has "recommended books," and I recommend Overcoming Dyslexia - even though there are more current books out there, it provides a very comprehensive overview.
  • Talk to your child. If you have a child with a learning disability, this may be a great time to talk to him or her about his/her disability. Understanding your own learning needs is the first step to learning to self-advocate! There are children's books and other resources available that can help open the door for communication about these issues. Check out, for example, I Wish I Could Fly Like a Bird, a great story that teaches children to understand and accept differences. This is also a great book to share with your child's teacher as a way to introduce the topic of learning disabilities and other differences to classmates. And if you have a child who is non-disabled, this book is a great tool to increase his/her awareness of learning differences as well.
  • Share with your family and friends. Awareness happens because people who know and care about the issue talk about it with others. Talk to your friends about learning disabilities. Share your personal stories and insight and help them to understand why awareness matters.
  • Find local events. Find your local Learning Disabilities Association chapter, parent support groups for parents of students with learning disabilities, or other community groups. Many groups may be having local events to promote awareness throughout October that you can get involved in.
Throughout October, we will be posting various blog articles about Learning Disabilities, particularly focusing on special education issues related to students with learning disabilities. Check back later for more information and updates, and feel free to leave a comment if there are particular issues related to this topic you want us to talk about!

1 comment:

  1. I think it is very important to be aware of certain learning disabilities. I am a high school RSP teacher and I think that there should be way more information provided by the district to the teachers regarding this issue. I also think there needs to be more of an awareness at all times regarding learning disabilities. It is unfortunate from my experience that many students have to suffer because teachers are not aware or educated on certain learning disabilities.