I’m proud to be an ambassador for the National Center for Learning Disabilitites (NCLD) and even though my three children are typicals, I think that all kids benefit from a deeper understanding and empathy for their classmates with special needs. For my kids, diversity no longer means skin color or whether their classmates have two moms. These are non-issues for them (and what wonderful progress in terms of Civil Rights!).
Instead, they will benefit immensely from a deeper understanding their classmates with learning disabilities that may not be obvious to them. This is the new millennium diversity issue and helping everyone succeed will make us a stronger community.
I wanted to share the great resources they have in the hopes that it helps parents. Here are four examples of the information they provide.
National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources
What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
The biggest difference is that kids with ADHD are hyperactive—they can’t sit still and are so restless that teachers quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and begin to suspect there might be attention issues involved.
Kids with ADD might fly under the radar a bit longer because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy, daydreamy, or off in their own world. More here.
Will ADHD medication change your child’s personality?
When prescribed effectively, ADHD medications work quite well soon after taking them. Your child’s personality won’t change, but his ability to focus and self-regulate will improve, which can make it easier to learn and to manage social situations. More here.
9 common IEP meeting “conversation stoppers” + how parents can respond
Stopper #2: “Your Child Can’t Participate In Academic Classes If He Can’t Pass the State Assessments.
Students with disabilities have a right to have meaningful access to the general curriculum. Parents and IEP teams should work with general education teachers to identify those areas of the curriculum that can and should be incorporated into the student’s IEP and then provide modifications and accommodations through special education services.
Here are possible responses
“It’s absolutely essential that Eric be provided with good instruction in a variety of academic classes in order to meet his IEP goals. We want him to have the same opportunities to learn as all other students at this school, whether he is able to pass the end-of-year assessment or not.”
“We know that we and Eric’s IEP team can determine if Eric will take the regular state assessments or an alternate assessment. Maybe Eric will not reach all the course requirement for this class, but Eric must have the opportunity to learn the same curriculum as the other students.”
More stoppers and how to respond here.
Fun activities to help kids build math skills
Running errands and traveling provide children with lots of opportunities to practice number recognition as well as counting skills. Here are some activities to try when you and your child are out and about:
- Have your child help you compare the cost of various items at the grocery store.
- Have a young child look at a license plate and identify the largest single or double-digit, or add together all the numbers on the plate.*
- As you travel, have your child play “Number Search.” Tell her to be on the lookout for numbers and when she sees one on a car or truck, a billboard, a sign, a building, or anything else, to point out the number.*
- As you and your child drive to an appointment, point out the time on a watch and say, for example, “It’s 3:15, and it takes us 30 minutes to get to your dentist’s office. Are we going to get there before your 4:15 appointment?”*
More ideas here.
Do you have any questions on learning disabilities? I’d be happy to find resources for you at the NCLD site.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.