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Reading Between the Lines

Apr 30, 2009 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

Given today’s high-stakes school performance standards, the push for academic excellence is stressful for most students. But for children with learning difficulties, their school days can be filled with especially daunting expectations.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) reports close to three million children in America’s public schools receive some form of special education services to compensate for learning challenges.

Learning disabilities commonly surface as a result of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. But learning disorders also occur in typically-developing children, where “hidden” signs are often more difficult to detect. Sadly, studies show one in four children with a learning disability eventually drops out of school.

While there is no cure, new interventions are helping struggling students overcome hurdles once thought to be permanent. The key is identifying disabilities so students get the specific help they need to be effective learners, and successful adults.

What Are Learning Disabilities?  
As teachers know all too well, children learn in different ways. Some are visual learners who need to see a lesson to understand it. Others may be auditory learners who prefer lecture-based instruction.

But for a child with a learning disability, it’s not a question of how his brain receives the data, but how it’s “wired” to store, process and communicate the information as well.
When basic skills such as reading, writing, math computation or language development are impacted, a child’s academic progress suffers significantly.

Looking to the cause of these disorders, doctors believe factors such as heredity, prenatal complications, childhood injuries, and toxic exposures make children prone to developmental disorders and future learning difficulties.

For more on Identifying and Overcoming Early Education Obstacles, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom, El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

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