Awareness is the First Step to Understanding
Did you know that October is Learning Disability Awareness Month? Well, now you are aware. Literally, that is the first step to understanding anything – to be aware that a situation or fact exists.
As an educator of 28 years in the field of learning disabilities, and a lifelong learner, I have come to value the importance of not only making people aware, but, for as many as possible, moving them to higher levels of understanding so they can ACT. One thing I love to do during a parent or professional development program is conduct an LD simulation. Often, during the debriefing session, I hear, “I will never again say, ‘You should know this by now!’” Or some, after feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and generally terrible about themselves, might say, “I have never realized how much tension in the learning environment inhibits your ability to think and respond.” Why does this simulation make such an impact? I believe it’s because it evokes the raw emotion an individual struggling to learn must feel on a daily basis at school.
It’s this type of deeper look at LD that can be the catalyst for change – change in the way a teacher strategizes around partnering with her students diagnosed with an LD. Change in the way parents seek early intervention, or advocate for their child in the school setting. And most of all, change in the way a child or adult with a learning disability thinks about himself as a productive, intelligent human being.
The National Center For Learning Disabilities launched their awareness campaign with the slogan, “You Are Not Alone.”
I love this bright, eye-catching logo, designed to reinforce the notion that regardless of how difficult things are for you, there are agencies and resources available to assist. Springer School and Center stands with NCLD in making this our life’s mission. We are here for parents and professionals who are struggling to understand what to do, and most of all for the children who desperately need to be understood, first as individuals and then as children who CAN learn, given the tools and strategies to do so.
Today, this week, month or year, learn more about learning disability. Then share what you know, and allow your awareness and understanding to enlighten others.
Blogger Barbara Hunter, MEd, shares her expertise in the use of technology to support learning.