Learning Disabilities Awareness

Word art including learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Emotional Support, Speech and Language, Resources

Hispanic Heritage Month officially came to an end on October 15th and we will turn our focus to Disability Awareness Month from October 19th - November 15th. Since we will recognize Autism and Down Syndrome in the Spring, our focus for the next month will center on:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Speech and Language

October was originally designated in the United States as Learning Disabilities Month in 1985 through a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan. October is also ADHD Awareness Month.

Five Interesting Facts About the Less Obvious Disabilities


Did you know?

  1. 1 in 5 students across the country have learning and attention issues. This includes the 2.5 million who have specific learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. It also includes the 6 million who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
  2. People with ADHD do not have trouble paying attention- they struggle to pay attention to the RIGHT thing.
  3. A few characteristics of a language disorder are an inability to express ideas, improper use of words and inability to follow directions.
  4. Two of the most common speech disorders that occur in children are:
  • Articulation disorder which causes children to mispronounce certain sounds such as S or R
  • Stuttering

       5. Teachers are most at risk for developing a voice disorder - stay hydrated! 

General Information about Disabilities

Resources for Teachers and Families 

Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia

Resources for Teachers and Families


Resources for Teachers and Families

Emotional Support   

Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:

  • an inability to learn that cannot be explained by il, sensory, or health factors.
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. 


Resources for Teachers and Families

Speech and Language

Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Resources for Teachers and Families

Executive Functioning

"The executive functions are a set of processes that have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation."- Joyce Cooper-Kahn, PhD. (2008)

Scientists believe that Executive Functioning lies in the prefrontal cortex of your brain. Many people find it helpful to think of Executive Functioning as the aircraft controller or the orchestra conductor for your brain and body. Executive Functioning keeps you in control of:

  • Scheduling
  • Goal Setting
  • Organizing
  • Focusing
  • Prioritizing
  • Sticking with it when it gets touch (persistence)
  • Impulsiveness
Symptoms of Executive Functioning impairment may include:

Inability to regulate attention, distractibility, carelessness, forgetfulness, difficulty completing tasks, poor time management and perception, lack of organization, procrastination, difficulty following conversations, hyperactive behavior (such as excessive talking and restlessness), impulsive behavior (such as blurting and interrupting), and short-term memory loss.

Did you Know?

1. There are several primary types of executive functions. These functions each play their own important role, but also work in conjunction with one another to monitor and facilitate goal-directed behaviors. The basic areas of executive function are:
  • Attentional control: This involves an individual's ability to focus attention and concentrate on something specific in the environment. 
  • Cognitive flexibility: Sometimes referred to as mental flexibility this refers to the ability to switch from one mental task to another or to think about multiple things at the same time. 
  • Cognitive inhibition: This involves the ability to tune out irrelevant information.
  • Inhibitory control: This involves the ability to inhibit impulses or desires in order to engage in more appropriate or beneficial behaviors. 
  • Working memory: Working memory is a "temporary storage system" in the brain that holds several facts or thoughts in mind while solving a problem or performing a task. 
2. Some researchers believe that executive functioning skills play a more important role in student success than IQ.
3. Participation in activities such as sports, theater, and music strengthen executive functioning skills.
4. The frontal lobe of the brain, which manages high level executive functioning skills, does not fully mature until we are in our mid to late-twenties.
5. Although children cannot grow out of executive functioning challenges, they can learn strategies that help a child's brain learn ways to work around weaknesses in areas of planning, time management, and organization.

Resources for Educators

Resources for Families

If you feel your child may have a learning disability or need extra learning supports, please contact the Special Education Supervisor of your child's school.