HAVING A LEARNING DISABILITY DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT BE SUCCESSFUL!
With the right support, accomodations and motivation,there is no limit to what one can achieve. Click on the following websites to view some famous high achievers who have a learning disability.
WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY?
The Ontario Ministry of Education defines learning disability as one of a number of neurodevelopmental disorders that persistently and significantly has an impact on the ability to learn and use academic and other skills and that:
· Affects the ability to perceive or process verbal or non-verbal information in an effective and accurate manner in students who have assessed intellectual abilities that are at least in the average range
· Results in (a) academic underachievement that is inconsistent with the intellectual abilities of the student (which are at least in the average range) and/or (b) academic achievement that can be maintained by the student only with extremely high levels of effort and/or with additional support
· Results in difficulties in the development and use of skills in one or more of the following areas:
o Work habits and learning skills
· May typically be associated with difficulties in one or more cognitive processes, such as
o Phonological processing
o Memory and attention
o Processing speed
o Perceptual-motor processing
o Visual-spatial processing
o Executive functions (e.g., self-regulation of behaviour and emotions, planning, organizing of thoughts and activities, prioritizing, decision making)
• May be associated with difficulties in social interaction (e.g., difficulty in understanding social norms or the point of view of others); with various other conditions or disorders, diagnosed or undiagnosed; or with other exceptionalities
• Is not the result of a lack of acuity in hearing and/or vision that has not been corrected; intellectual disabilities; socio-economic factors; cultural differences; lack of proficiency in the language of instruction; lack of motivation or effort; gaps in school attendance or inadequate opportunity to benefit from instruction
RECOGNITION AND IDENTIFICATION OF LEARNING DISABILITIES
Many students with learning disabilities have already shown precursors or signs of learning disabilities before they enter school – such as language delays; difficulties with rhyming, counting, or fine-motor skills; or behavioural manifestations. However, for most students with learning disabilities, difficulties in learning may not be noticed until the early school years. After a period of instruction that has taken into account individual students’ strengths and needs, it will become evident that some students who are experiencing difficulties in learning may potentially have a learning disability. Learning disabilities range in severity. Their impact may vary depending on the environmental and cognitive demands on the student, the instructional strategies employed, and the individual student’s profile and age.
Early screening and interventions are important in determining whether a student’s difficulties in learning may be due to learning disabilities. Although learning disabilities are more commonly evident in primary grades, they may become evident at any stage in a student’s development. For some students, learning disabilities may only become apparent as the students progress through the later elementary or early secondary grades when academic work and social demands increase in complexity.
For more information, I suggest that you look at the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario website (see link below): http://www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/what-are-lds/