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Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
Caring for Our People with Disabilities & Chronic Illness

"Making life better!"

LEARNING DISABILITY: WHAT IS IT? .... Learning disability is defined by law as "an imperfect ability to read, write, speak or perform mathematical calculations and which is not due to physical, sensory or emotional impairment, mental retardation or sociocultural disadvantage."

Spirit Lake studentSchool is often the first time children are compared to others. When you were a little girl or boy and made a picture for your mother, she didn't run over and compare it with the child's next door and then say,

"I think this rates a C+, the neighbor's three-year-old had better use of color and you need to learn to draw more realistic flowers."

Most likely, she put your picture on the refrigerator and said it was wonderful. School is not necessarily like that. Perhaps at the extreme of being told you do not measure up in comparison to other people is to be identified as disabled. The majority of disabilities are first diagnosed in school and this is particularly true with learning disabilities.

Children with learning disabilities often feel as if they are less intelligent than other children because they cannot accomplish the same tasks as the other students in the same way or in the same amount of time. A learning disability is not, by any means, a measure of a person’s intelligence. In fact, if you read the legal definition above, it specifically states that children with mental retardation are not included in this category. However, students with learning disabilities experience certain obstacles that do not allow them to be educated in the usual way. It is believed that learning disabilities are the result of the difficulty of the brain in processing certain types of information.

The most well-known type of learning disability is probably dyslexia. Dyslexia is a difficulty processing letters, numbers and other symbols. The most familiar characteristic of dyslexia is letter reversal, writing or reading "d" for "b", for example, or "p" for "q". As would be expected, people with dyslexia have great difficulty learning to read and write.

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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