Teachers deserve extra training for learning disabled

TheStar.com – Opinion/letter – Teachers deserve extra training for learning disabled
December 12, 2008

My son, who was diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) in Grade 2, is now in Grade 11. We have had some great school years and some horrible ones. It has been a long, frustrating process toward getting him to think that maybe he is smart and will be okay in life.

Recent news items about the importance of addressing poverty reduction are encouraging. The 2007 study PACFOLD gives StatsCan-based evidence that those with LDs are less likely to succeed in the workplace and achieve a high level of literacy, more likely to drop out of school and to experience mental health problems and are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system.

A model moving toward full inclusion in schools (which I support) means that teachers sometimes work with a wide variety of abilities in a regular classroom setting. Extra training for educators in understanding LDs is crucial and long overdue. Parents of children with learning disabilities carry an extra burden and, although heavy, my family can bear it. Not all can.

Annie Sheehan, Sarnia

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