When Michael was a student, the last place he ever thought he would end up working in, is a school. Growing up with dyslexia and ADHD, Michael worked hard in school but his results did not reflect his effort. His teachers just didn't know how to help. But now that Michael is an educator, he draws on his own experience to support students with LDs.
by Elisa Blasi, Learning Disabilities Association of York Region Ambassador Elisa's Story Have you ever heard the term “the elephant in the room”? It is often used when there is an obvious issue or problem that everyone can see, yet, in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation, is sidestepped. For most of my life, I [...]
In this podcast, Michael Karras will frankly share with you his struggles and successes as a student, linked in part to his learning disability (LD) and ADHD, but also due to the type of teaching he received.
Who says that students with learning disabilities (LD) cannot pursue a postsecondary education? Meet Danya and her story of perseverance, humility, and collaboration. Danya and her mother, Carol-Ann van Rassel, explained how, with the support of the school team and the family, a student with an LD or other challenges can succeed at school, at work, and in life generally.
Aaron Bailey is a 25 year-old man who is diagnosed with: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) combination type, a learning disability in mathematics, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression; additionally, Aaron struggles with reading and writing. Aaron graduated from the Child and Youth Worker (CWY) program at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, following which he attended Griffith University in Australia and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. Currently, Aaron works as the Project Consultant for the ASD Transitions Project at the Regional Assessment and Resource Centre (RARC), at Queen’s University. Aaron shares his experiences…
It was a very moving experience. My husband is Anglophone, so he didn’t clearly understand what her reading difficulties were [Abby attends a French school]. When we were doing her homework in grade one and two, it was very frustrating because it would take her an eternity to read. We would practice reading a lot, but it was laborious.
When Alexis was first diagnosed with learning disabilities in grade two, she struggled to understand what a learning disability was and why she learned differently from other students: “I remember that I didn’t learn like other students did – I felt dumber. Once it started that I went to the other classroom, it became normal.” [...]
Félixpier is a Grade 12 student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other learning disabilities. He was diagnosed as having ADHD in elementary school after undergoing numerous neuro-psychological assessments. But this did not come as a surprise to Félixpier and his family; he wasn’t the only one dealing with this disorder. While Félixpier has had to overcome a number of challenges at school, he has also had a number of successes. From the perspective of the Félixpier, his mother, and the resource teacher, a student who is experiencing learning difficulties and other challenges can succeed with the support of the school team and the family.
At the beginning of the year, Laurence had a lot of difficulty staying on task. It was challenging to measure her knowledge and comprehension in subjects such as mathematics because she didn’t stay on task for long. She made a lot of disruptive noises during class. Laurence didn’t always realize that she was making noises. Sometimes she found herself engaging in unsafe activities during gym such as kicking a ball while the game was stopped. Since the assessment, I have noticed that Laurence reflects more before speaking during discussions and experiences fewer challenges following directions during physical education. Laurence’s grades have increased in certain subjects and she demonstrates pride when she completes an assignment. Before, she was always the first to quickly complete her assignments and now she hands in her work at the same time as the other students. During group work, Laurence is less likely to move away from her work group. She remains focussed on the task with her partners.
He found out in grade 2. I asked a consultant to help me with the process. I was realizing that he was aware that he was different than the other students. I didn’t know how to explain it to him without hurting his feelings or lowering his self-esteem. Following meetings with interveners, he reacted well. He finally understood that it was not his fault. It was because of his learning disability. He is aware he learns in a different manner, but that everything is possible. We created a video and presented it to the 3rd grade class (at the beginning of the school year). It was a success. We have known since he was very young and we started meeting with a speech therapist since he turned 3 years old.