How Does it Compare to Other Service

As a caregiver, when you become aware that your child struggles inside the classroom it can be stressful and scary.  A teacher or school administrator might even recommend educational therapy. In this article, we will provide an overview of educational therapy and discuss how it can help kids with learning and thinking differences.

What is Educational Therapy?

According to the Association of Educational Therapists (AET), “Educational Therapy offers children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems. The ultimate goal of educational therapy is to foster development of self-confident, independent individuals who feel positively about themselves and their potential as lifelong learners.” Generally speaking, Educational Therapists combine multisensory, evidence-based methodologies to address both academic and underlying social-emotional challenges in order for learners to see and feel success. 

Who benefits from Educational Therapy?

Learners with and without diagnoses benefit from Educational Therapy, especially those facing obstacles in:

  • stress/anxiety
  • behavior
  • self-advocacy
  • mindset
  • phonemic awareness
  • phonological processing
  • decoding/encoding
  • reading fluency
  • language processing and/or comprehension
  • written expression,
  • critical thinking,
  • executive functioning (i.e. sustained attention, self regulation, working memory, time management, organization and planning)
  • mathematical computation/problem solving 

What types of programs would generally be used in Educational Therapy?

Multisensory, research-oriented programming based on a learner’s holistic needs are utilized in Educational Therapy. Examples include, but are not limited to Orton-Gillingham®, Social Thinking®, Zones of Regulation®, SMARTS-EF®, Growth Mindset®, Lindamood-Bell®, Wilson Reading System®, Step up to Writing®, Handwriting Without Tears®, Making Math Real®, to name just a few!

Is Educational Therapy the same thing as tutoring?

This is a common misconception, tutoring and Educational Therapy differ in many ways. Traditional tutors focus on content and curriculum to support academic performance whereas Educational Therapists target the underlying sensory-cognitive functions that allow learners to strengthen, develop and apply their skills into academics and beyond. Therefore, tutors focus on the what while Educational Therapists focus on the how of learning. Tutors do not need any specific training or credentialing to support learners, whereas Educational Therapists undergo extensive training in a multitude of behavioral, emotional, psychological and educational modalities to support learners from all angles. Additionally, Educational Therapists utilize assessments to ascertain a learner’s present levels, create instructional plans, generate program recommendations, propose accommodations, delineate objectives/goals and gauge progress thereafter. They also serve as a case manager and collaborate with a learner’s team to provide insight into the learner’s profile and to maintain consistency of implementation in and out of their sessions. Tutors can speak with a learner’s ecosystem about their observations, but are unable to evaluate all aspects of a learner’s profile. 

How can you find the right educational therapist for your learner?

Finding an Educational Therapist can be overwhelming for caregivers. There is an undeniable high demand and low supply for highly skilled specialists who have both the certifications and personality to establish a strong rapport and expedite progress. While the disparity between performance and potential widens, learners continue to fall further and further behind, compromising their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth along the way. At Learnfully, we are on a mission to minimize the amount of time learners wait while searching for the best fit Educational Therapist by providing families access to our personalized platform, highly curated specialist network, proactive communication channels and transparent progress monitoring. Starting with an introductory discussion and, if desired, an educational assessment that pinpoints the learner’s strengths and challenges, you’ll quickly get matched to a program and educational therapist that will unlock their potential.

As a part of LD Awareness Month, we are spotlighting important aspects of the journey for neurodivergent learners and caregivers. In a previous blog, The Learner Support Ecosystem and Why it’s Important to Have One, we detailed the common roles within the learner’s support ecosystem. In this blog, let’s take a look at the role of the speech therapist. For this, we interviewed Heather Hamilton, a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist.

About Heather Hamilton

Heather Hamilton, M.S., CCC-SLP is the founder of TALK Speech & Language Therapy, LLC in Atlanta, Ga. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Syracuse University in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Heather has over 25 years of experience from her time working in Educational, Medical, and Private settings across the United States. With a focus on continuing education and the most current, research-based practices, TALK is an international clinic that sees clients of all ages to focus on communication needs related to speech and language disorders, literacy, and corporate speech challenges. 

What is Speech and Language Therapy? 

Speech-Language Therapy is so multifaceted! In our clinic, our clients range in age from 1-year to 67-years of age and no two client profiles are exactly the same. At its core, Speech-Language Therapy is individualized treatment that helps an individual meet their full communication potential in order to confidently share and receive information from others through spoken, written, gesture-based, or picture-based language forms. Some children learn language from the exposure they receive in their environments, and some children require direct Speech-Language Intervention to help them master new skills.

Can you help our community with some common terminology? 

Receptive Language is the ability to comprehend language at varying levels of complexity. To assess comprehension of language we look at an individual’s ability to show comprehension. For example, we might show a child three toys, hold out our hands, and say CAR. If they point to or grab the car, we know they understood. However, language complexity increases quickly. If you ask a child to, “Point to the car that is not blue,” it requires that they understand the noun CAR, the adjective BLUE, the verb POINT, the negative NOT, and understand the order of the words presented.

Expressive Language involves the ability to utilize specific words (vocabulary/semantics) in the correct combination and form (syntax and morphology). Children are using single words by 1-year and then by 3 to 4 years a child is expected to have a vocabulary of 800 to 1700 words, and be 90% to 100% intelligible during long conversations that utilize compound and complex sentences of 4 to 5 ½ words in length. 

Some children and adults are nonverbal and do not communicate with spoken language. When this is the case, Assistive Technology (Augmentative and Alternative Communication or AAC) is utilized to help individuals communicate their thoughts. Low-tech forms of AAC are things like picture symbols, communication boards or writing with a pen and paper. Examples of high-tech forms of AAC include the use of iPads, computers, or devices that generate speech for a user.

Pragmatic Language is the ability to use language in socially appropriate ways across various settings.

Articulation refers to the ability to spontaneously say speech sounds correctly. Some children struggle with the production of only one or two sounds and would be diagnosed with an articulation disorder. Others have difficulty being understood (intelligibility) because they are not able to say many sounds correctly. This might be diagnosed as a Phonological Disorder as they have consistent error patterns. Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor coordination problem that prevents an individual’s oral structures (i.e., lips, tongue, teeth, jaw) from executing the motor planning steps that the brain tells them to. This results in inconsistent error patterns that can change each time a word is produced. It is important for parents to know that Childhood Apraxia of Speech is different from adult apraxia that results from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. 

Other elements of spoken communication that might be addressed in therapy include Voice Disorders and Stuttering.

Our caregivers would appreciate an understanding of a list of symptoms that may otherwise go unnoticed. What should they look out for in their learners? 

Parents and caregivers need to trust their instincts! So often families know that something is not right, but they listen to a pediatrician, family member, or friend and do not seek a professional’s opinion. If you sense that something is not developing as it should, reach out to a professional to get their recommendations. Getting intervention early can make a difference in long-term outcomes.

A few questions parents and caregivers can ask themselves to see if consultation with an SLP might be of benefit:

  • Do I feel like something is not quite right with how my child is engaging, speaking, or using language? If so, call a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and ask for a phone consultation. Reputable practices will offer a complimentary call.
  • Have I been told by a friend or teacher that my child should see an SLP? If so, there is no harm in seeking out additional information about your child’s communication skill development. 
  • Is my child struggling to follow directions independently without gestures or help? 
  • If your child is 2 years of age, can they name some pictures, use simple pronouns (I, me, you) and verbs, and say some routine phrases?
  • If your child is 2 ½ years of age can they use 150-350 words, ask simple questions and add some simple modifiers to nouns (e.g. big truck)?
  • If your child is 3 years old can they carry on a meaningful conversation, describe actions seen in books and repeat some rhymes?
  • Are you noticing that your child says several words incorrectly not because of a speech sound error pattern, but because they seem to have learned the word incorrectly (for example, they say Pucause of Because)? Perceptual errors can be a sign of an underlying phonological processing deficit that suggests a child would benefit from structured phonological awareness training. 
  • Does my child seem frustrated when trying to communicate? Frustration at any age can be a sign of an underlying communication problem. 

What services do you and your therapists provide? 

TALK Speech & Language Therapy, LLC provides both in-person and Teletherapy intervention in the areas of speech sound disorders, expressive language, receptive language, pragmatic language & social communication,  literacy, written language, voice therapy, and fluency (stuttering). We have the pleasure of seeing an international population and specialize in working with bilingual and multilingual families. Additionally, TALK provides Corporate Speech Therapy services to help clients target accent reduction, cultural communication differences, pragmatic language, and effective communication strategies in the workplace. 

Are there any final thoughts you wish to share? 

Parents and caregivers should know that speech sound disorders are not just about saying speech sounds correctly. From the time they are toddlers, children are developing the Phonological Awareness skills that will allow them to be successful readers and spellers. Remediation of speech sound production errors, along with structured phonological awareness intervention, can prevent literacy issues down the road. 

Finally, everyone should know that Speech-Language Therapy is not just for children. Our practice works with clients of all ages. In recent years more and more adults have sought intervention after gaining a greater understanding of their child’s challenges and recognizing the same struggles have always been an issue for them as well. It is never too late to reach out to a Speech-Language Pathologist for a consultation. 

As a part of LD Awareness Month, we are spotlighting important aspects of the journey for neurodivergent learners and caregivers.  In a previous blog, The Learner Support Ecosystem and Why it’s Important to Have One, we detailed the common roles within the learner’s support ecosystem.  In this blog, we’re digging into psychological assessments. For this, we interviewed Dr. Ilana Jurkowitz, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, who often administers these assessments and can offer insights into the overall goals and importance of this process.

About Dr Ilana Jurkowitz

I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in pediatric psychodiagnostic assessment.  In my private practice, I focus on providing comprehensive psychodiagnostic evaluations for children and adolescents to better identify their cognitive and academic profiles and create a plan to help them reach their potential.  I am also an adjunct professor at Alliant International University in the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology graduate program where I teach psychodiagnostic assessment to doctoral candidates and train them in specific test instruments and data interpretation.  I completed my postdoctoral training at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in their Psychoeducational and Diagnostic Testing Program and received extensive training in cognitive, academic, attentional, and psychological testing.  I work closely with families, schools, and other professionals in supporting children and improving their learning experiences.  

What does a Comprehensive Psychodiagnostic Evaluation entail? 

A comprehensive psychodiagnostic evaluation typically includes a parent interview, administration of several tests that measure various areas of cognitive, academic, and psychological functioning, a classroom observation (if possible), and feedback sessions with the family.  The tests administered evaluate various areas of functioning, including cognition, verbal processing, non-verbal processing, memory, processing speed, attention and concentration, executive functioning, academics, and emotional experience.  Tasks include things like puzzles, word games, drawings, and storytelling.  Test administration lasts anywhere from 7-10 hours total, typically divided into shorter 1-3 hours sessions.  Parents walk away from the assessment process with a final report and specific recommendations for how to best support their child. 

Are psycho-educational assessment referrals cause for concern? 

Absolutely not!  A referral for an evaluation just means that a student may not be learning in the way expected.  The information gathered from an assessment will help teachers instruct the child and help the child apply specific strategies to the learning process.  Completing an evaluation should never be about finding out what is “wrong,” but rather about finding out what is “right.”  Evaluations will identify specific strengths, which will empower the child and help them approach tasks and learning in a way that works for their brain.  An assessment could benefit every child!

Can you help our community with some common terminology?

Specific Learning Disability: This is a diagnostic category in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) that describes specific weaknesses in the areas of reading, writing, or mathematics.  Diagnoses are issued if the child is performing below the expected level, as determined by formal testing.  The expected level is determined by IQ testing.

IQ: Intelligence Quotient.  This is a numerical representation of a person’s cognitive ability.  IQ is comprised of several areas of functioning including, verbal ability, visual-spatial ability, fluid reasoning (i.e. problem-solving ability), working memory, and processing speed.  These combined areas make up a person’s IQ.

Comprehensive Testing: Comprehensive Testing means that the tests administered would measure many areas of functioning.  This is different from just a psycho-educational assessment, which would look at basic cognitive abilities (i.e. IQ) and academic performance only.  A comprehensive evaluation takes a deeper look at the way a child thinks and processes information, which helps to formulate specific recommendations and tailor classroom instruction.

Our caregivers would appreciate an understanding of sneaky symptoms of learning differences that may otherwise go unnoticed. What should they look out for in their learners? 

Anytime a child seems to be avoiding a specific academic task, teachers and caregivers should wonder whether the difficulty of the task is what is getting in the way.  A hasty and careless approach to tasks may also indicate difficulty with that subject area.  The length of time it takes to complete homework may also be indicative of a learning difficulty.  Students should not be spending hours completing their homework every night!

How do caregivers learn their child needs an assessment?

Typically, a teacher or school administrator will recommend an assessment based on their in-class observations.  This conversation may begin with an initial conversation about areas of concern or weakness observed in the classroom.  Caregivers may also notice that certain academic tasks are more difficult for their child to complete and wonder whether it is a function of a learning weakness.  Referrals may also come from a child’s individual therapist, should they be in therapy.  There may be questions that the therapist can’t answer and test data can help clarify how a child processes the world.  An evaluation can also help guide therapists in their treatment and provide a type of manual for how the child sees the world.  

What services are typically recommended if a learner qualifies for an official diagnosis? 

Services may include educational therapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, speech, and language therapy.  

What are a few key tips for caregivers to keep in mind while their learner undergoes psychological evaluations? 

It is important not to think about the evaluation process as a test, but rather as a journey of understanding how a child’s brain works and their strengths.  Kids shouldn’t feel like they need to “score high” or get the answers right because many of the tasks are intended to be difficult or beyond the child’s capacity.  The goal is to encourage the child to do the best they can and not feel like they are getting a grade.  

Any final thoughts you wish to offer to our shared audience? 

The evaluation process should be empowering for both the child and parents and seen as a positive experience.  Weaknesses can be reframed as areas of growth and the evaluation process can give kids the tools to understand how they learn and know how to approach specific tasks.  Diagnoses can also be discussed in terms of a common language and not as a way to identify what is wrong.  A diagnosis by itself does not tell the child’s story and should only be used as a way to classify some of the areas of difficulty.  It will never answer all the questions, and the same diagnosis could look very different in two different kids.

October is National Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and ADHD Awareness Month, so what perfect timing for us to debunk some extremely common myths that exist regarding learning disabilities. At Learnfully, we believe that all learners are brilliant in their own right and deserve to be celebrated throughout the year. Let’s demystify the top 10 myths so that we can honor those who learn differently now more than ever!

1. Learning Disabilities are directly correlated to intelligence. 

It is a common misconception that learning disabilities are related to one’s intelligence, but, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Learners who learn differently typically have average or above-average IQ. Unfortunately, because they are constantly challenging themselves, we do see 20% on average drop out each year from school which can easily send the wrong message to society as a whole. 

2. Learning Disabilities impact boys more than girls.

The sex and gender identity of a learner does not impact their ability to learn.  That said, statistics suggest that males are diagnosed earlier than females for a multitude of reasons including the fact that some male learners’ symptoms are most overt and some female learners’ symptoms, thus, go unnoticed. Female learning disabilities can go undetected throughout their childhood because they appear compliant and, sadly, male learners are viewed as behavior problems at an early age.

3. Accommodations are a band aid approach. 

By definition, accommodations are used to level the playing field for those who learn differently than their peers. They describe an alteration of environment, curriculum format, or equipment that allows an individual with a disability to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. They allow students with disabilities to pursue a regular course of study. Since accommodations do not alter what is being taught, instructors should be able to implement the same grading scale for students with disabilities as they do for students without disabilities.

4. Dyslexia is defined by reading backwards.

Dyslexia involves neurological deficits that impact many layers of the reading process and not just one’s directionality. Common symptoms for Dyslexia include, but are not limited to: challenges with rhyming, blending words, recalling sight words, reading fluidly with expression, spelling orthographically and phonetically. Dyslexic learners tend to be very creative and imaginative, so they try to compensate for their differences by tapping into their strengths. 

5. You can grow out of a LD because they are school-based. 

Learning disabilities are life-long diagnoses that follow a learner as they age. Once diagnosed, learners can feel empowered to discover strategies as to how to reach their full potential and to navigate the communicative world around them. Regardless of their successful methods, however, learning disabilities do not fade away as a learner ages, but they can become easier to manage. 

6. Healthy habits such as nutrition, physical fitness and sleep have no impact on learning. 

The right fit nutrition, exercise and sleep patterns actually improve attention, energy levels, motivation, and productivity. Sometimes symptoms of learning differences can stem as a result of poor habits. Trained experts can separate the symptoms from the daily happenings to determine whether or not a diagnosis is warranted. All this to say, these healthy habits can certainly bolster one’s ability to learn, but cannot cause a diagnosable learning disability. 

7. LD symptoms are overt and can be seen. 

Not all learning difference symptoms are noticeable especially at a young age when expectations are lower. In fact, some can even mask or hide their differences until a later age (as noted in the myth about girls vs. boys). Learning disabilities tend to involve symptoms that are underlying and not as measurable at first. As a learner ages, variables such as their environment, puberty and academic/social performance tend to heighten both the learner’s and their caregiver/educator’s awareness as to how they are struggling so that they can seek the right support. 

8. LD is just another way of saying ‘lazy’ or ‘unmotivated.’

Quite the opposite! Those with learning disabilities tend to work harder than neurotypical peers because they have to overcome struggles that their peers do not. Over the course of my 20 years in this field, I have heard this myth from caregivers and educators the most (believe it or not!). Since we know our children are capable, labeling them as lazy or not driven seems to justify why they are not becoming who we know they are meant to be. Thankfully, learners are able to find strategies and help for their disabilities to move past the potential lack of motivation/energy.

9. Lack of parent involvement causes LDs.

Since learning disabilities are biological, caregiver and educator involvement only helps us to catch their LD faster and earlier. Granted, the more support, the better, especially when you have learning differences. But the lack of support, time, energy invested into a learner’s academic success does not cause learning disabilities. 

10. Medication can help LDs. 

This is typically not the case, especially since diagnoses such as ADHD and Anxiety/Depression are not necessarily considered learning differences. Neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury, is alive and well though. There are multisensory, evidence-based programs that can actually rewire the brain to make learning easier for those with LDs. The LDs do not go away, per se, but learners are better able to navigate their symptoms with these methodologies. 

Now, let’s be honest – there are plenty more myths out there that we did not discuss here, so feel free to use other resources such as LD Online or National Center for Learning Disabilities if you did not find the myth you were looking for or are curious to learn more!

Find out how Learnfully supports kids with learning differences here.

Learning differences are very common. Experts say that more than 1 in 5 individuals struggle with learning in one way or another. Many face learning challenges and do not qualify for an actual diagnosis. The likelihood that someone you know and love has a learning difference is rather high, so we would like to kick off Learning Disabilities Awareness Month by providing you, our community, with an overview of learning disabilities and learning differences as a whole. Stay tuned all month as we share information and resources to support our mission to ignite learning and unlock the potential of neurodivergent learners!

Learning Disabilities vs. Learning Differences

Learners are diagnosed with a learning disability by undergoing comprehensive psychological evaluations and observations. Diagnoses are given based on the criterion set forth by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth version). Those who are diagnosed with a particular (or several) learning disabilities are protected under the law to preserve the rights of individuals with disabilities to equal treatment.  For school-aged learners, the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that students ages 3-21 will receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).  IDEA ensures that children with disabilities will have the same opportunities and access to public education as their peers without disabilities. Under IDEA, there are currently 13 different disability classifications. In order for students to be considered eligible to receive the support and services provided under IDEA, they need to be “classified” under one of these 13 categories. Unfortunately under IDEA there is no classification of Learning Difference or Learning Challenge – so what is so what is a learning difference?

The term Learning difference originated from the principle that the term “learning disability” focuses on the weaknesses of a learner and doesn’t appropriately recognize the strengths of such learners. The Learning Disabilities Association of New York State (LDA) puts it plainly: “Many people prefer to use the terminology “learning differences” or “learning challenges” instead of “learning disabilities.” Some are concerned that the term “learning disability” focuses on an individual’s cognitive weaknesses and isolates them from other learners while the term “learning differences” highlights the fact that they simply learn differently than others do.”

At Learnfully, we believe that we all learn differently and given the appropriate resources and instruction, all learners can be put on their path to potential.

The Most Common Learning Disabilities

It is important to keep in mind that, with or without a diagnosis, learners very well may face several side effects such as sensory-motor integration, motor planning, coordination, and executive functioning. Although we cannot go into depth as to how these side effects may impact learning in this article, we are able to provide insight into the most commonly diagnosed learning differences and their related symptoms below. 

Dyslexia

80% of learning differences involve challenges with reading.  Dyslexia is,thus, probably the number one learning disorder. Auditory processing, visual processing disorders may have trouble that affects children and adults as well. It’s a condition that makes it challenging to understand text or speech. If you have dyslexia, reading, writing, and speaking can be difficult and overwhelming. Many creative, brilliant, outside of the box thinkers are Dyslexic because they process the world through a different lens. 

Some symptoms of Dyslexia are as follows: 

  • Reversing the position of letters
  • Challenged by symbol to sound correlations
  • Inability to imprint symbols and patterns in memory
  • Struggling with reading comprehension load
  • Delayed speech
  • Difficulty learning new vocabulary or rhymes
  • May have trouble understanding directions

ADHD

Did you know that over 6 million children are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Many children with ADHD are disciplined for misbehaving, but they can’t control their actions. ADHD makes it difficult to concentrate, which can lead to one learner distracting others around them in a classroom setting if they are unable to access tools to support their needs.

Some symptoms of ADHD are as follows: 

  • Unable to sit still
  • Limited sustained attention span
  • Hyperfocused on preferred tasks
  • Disorganized or forgetful
  • Difficulty staying quiet 
  • Lack of motivation
  • Dysregulation: mood swings or emotional outbursts

Dyscalculia

Lots of people dislike math, but are eventually able to understand it with enough consistent and repetitive practice. Dyscalculia is more severe because it is a diagnosed learning disability that makes it challenging to understand even the most basic math concepts. Since math builds upon itself in a cyclical fashion, learners with dyscalculia can fall behind and struggle to catch up for years.

Some symptoms of Dyscalculia are as follows: 

  • Challenged by number sense
  • Unable to reach automaticity with math facts 
  • Struggling with concepts such as measuring, time, and estimating
  • Being unsure of how to approach word math problems
  • Difficulty following the order of operations
  • Finding it challenging to count and group numbers together

Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is an affective learning disability that makes it hard to write legibly. Some people with dysgraphia struggle to hold a writing utensil comfortably while others lack the spatial awareness needed to produce legible text.

Some symptoms of Dysgraphia are as follows: 

  • Messy handwriting
  • Taking a long time to write
  • Holding a writing utensil improperly
  • Struggling to express thoughts in a clear sentence structure
  • Poor grammar
  • Speaking out loud while writing

Dyspraxia 

Although dyspraxia is a condition that affects someone’s motor skills, it still has the potential to hinder specific learning. The reason why is because a person with dyspraxia may not be able to hold a pencil or participate by speaking regularly. 

Some symptoms of Dyspraxia are as follows: 

  • Challenges with verbalization
  • Weak hand-eye coordination skills 
  • Poor balance
  • Struggling with fine-motor tasks

Additional Resources

Feel free to check out these incredibly useful resources: 

We are honored to have the opportunity to support caregivers and educators through their learner’s journey rising to their full potential and are here to help as questions and concerns arise. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our network of specialists or any of the above resources for guidance. You and your learner are not alone, we are in this together.

Find out how Learnfully supports kids with learning differences here.

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

Audre Lorde

At Learnfully, it’s woven into our mission to celebrate neurodiversity. That is why October is particularly special to us.

This month, we celebrate LD Awareness Month, ADHD Awareness Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, Dyspraxia Week, and Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day on 15 Oct.

These celebrations are always important, but this October it’s critical to shine a light on the neurodiverse communities. The Covid-19 pandemic has upended so many parts of all of our lives. But its impact has been especially challenging for the neurodiverse community and their families, many who rely heavily on well-established routines to build consistency both in and outside of the classroom. Some were forced to go without therapies or meeting with caregivers or educators, to avoid spreading this terrible disease. All these factors compound and impacted the neurodiverse community disproportionately. 

A recent survey of autism caregivers and parents underline these challenges. 64% of caregivers said that the changes brought by the pandemic “severely or moderately impacted” their child’s autism symptoms, behaviors or other related challenges. Meanwhile, three-quarters of parents also suffered: saying they felt extreme or moderate stress because of the disruptions to their lives.

That’s why we’re celebrating throughout this month by trying to share as many resources, insights, and stories as possible to build community, connection, and support. We’ll be hosting events and webinars, publishing a blog series highlighting the neurodiverse, and providing tips to parents and family members who face the challenges of neurodiversity. 

We hope you follow along. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and on our Blog. And we want to hear from you: feel free to use the hashtag #LearnfullyLDAwarenessMonth to share your stories, tips, and insights with us this month.

Find out how Learnfully supports kids with learning differences here.