Back again with the topic of learning disabilities, this time to talk about how communities can help people with LDs. The best way for people to discover how they can best help out the member in their community is to better understand what learning disabilities are and how they work. The biggest problem with this is that many people believe learning disabilities are temporary or are result of a previous action done by the person. This belief is false. These are common stereotypes, when in actuality a learning disability is neurological and cannot be reversed. They are also a permanent disability, although with special classes and more focused learning can be subsided to help the student achieve their greatest potential. Another statistic that may be shocking to most people is that nearly 3 million of all students are diagnosed with a learning disability, which accounts for 45% of the student disability population. On top of this, it has been shown that the earlier an LD is diagnosed, the easier it is to get students on the right learning track. Of these 3 million students, about 75% have a reading based disability (commonly dyslexia). With all of these factors taken into consideration, it is easier for teachers and the people in the community to help those with LD’s.
In a previous post, it was mentioned that most teachers see a student falling behind and getting in trouble as a naughty child, however these new stats reveal the appalling reality. Nearly 50% of ‘secondary students’ read–on average–three grade level below where they should be along with their peers. This carries into their high school career were all but 10% tend to drop out due to difficulty in school. This must come to an end. There must be more tests in schools to determine a child’s learning ability and provide them with the right level of education. If it is too difficult for a school staff member to recognize the signs, class sizes must be reduced for the benefit of the student. There must be seminars for teachers to attend so that they know what signs they are looking for. If a student is left at a young age believing they are stupid compared to the rest of their peers because they cannot spell the word ‘cat’ correctly, they will be unaware that they have an LD. Not having the early diagnosis is what leads to the nearly 40% of high school dropouts.
Diagnosing these learning disabilities early is becoming more of a possibility through organizations like the NCLD–National Center for Learning Disabilities–that are working towards ‘improving the life of the 1 in 5 children and adults with learning and attention issues’. This organization is focused on the proper development of children with learning disabilities mainly tackling them from a young age. It has also been shown that the majority of students diagnosed after the age of sixj have reading disabilities. There are tools to help students develop and there are resources, it is simply up to educators and parents to act upon the gifts they are given.