I think I have a learning disability; what do I do?
Finding the proper resources when you have a learning disability varies, depending on each individual disability. Before being able to efficiently find the specific resources, it is important to identify both the type of learning disability you may have, as well as the severity of the disability. This ensures you are receiving the correct information specific to your needs, so the proper programs and tools may be put into place for you.
Learning disabilities can range in severity, anywhere from mild to severe. There is also a broad spectrum of areas in which learning disabilities may apply. Learning disabilities may affect one’s development or skills in the areas of speaking, writing, reading, math, and listening. Due to the diverse nature of learning disabilities, it can something be challenging to recognize a learning disability right away, however here are some key indicators to be on the lookout for: (please note, this list does not include all the possible indicators of a learning disability.)
- Has a hard time paying attention.
- Difficulty remembering things.
- Problems with reading/writing.
- Problems with math.
- Difficulty staying on task
- Finds it challenging understanding new words/concepts.
- Difficulty finding the proper way to express themselves.
- Inappropriate responses in social settings.
If you believe you have a learning disability, speak with your teacher, parents and doctor. To properly identify your learning disability, seek the professional opinion of a doctor. As the needs for each learning disability varies, the right program for you is subject to your individual needs.
While it may sometimes feel challenging to find the proper resources to help you, understand that you are not alone. 1 in 10 Canadians have a learning disability, and sometimes the proper resources may be the key tool in order to reach your academic success.
So, what resources can you use to locate the proper programs?
- One of the most efficient ways to help your learning within school is to speak with your teacher and school principle. Discuss possible extended resources that may be offered within school care, such as a special education program, a designated student aid, or various other forms of specialized help. The type of help offered will vary by each individual school.
- Speak with your Doctor about your struggles.
- Visit the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada’s website. Here you may find individual information provided for the nearest LDA that supports your area. http://ldac-acta.ca
- Out of school programs such as Kumon, Oxford Learning, and Sylvan Learning Centres provide specific help for children and teens struggling with an academic subject.
- Visit the National Centre for Learning Disabilities website to find reports and studies, as well as useful programs you as a parent can use to help your child.
- Speak to your community leaders about programs offered for children and teens with learning disabilities in your area.
- Visit the CHEO website for program information and special information on a variety of different learning disabilities.
Remember, it’s never too late to get the right help and never be shy about what you will need to succeed in the academic/ working world- taking the right steps to diagnose and help you reach your goals is always worth it.