Being informed about learning disabilities and differences has definitely become easier in the last few years with the development of online resources. Washington, D.C.-based public broadcasting radio station WETA produces a Web site, which provides one of the best examples of this.
Noel Gunther, WETA’s vice president of learning and interactive media and the creator of the site, explains that after airing a couple of programs about learning disabilities, the channel discovered how desperate the parents of these children were to gain information.
“They had this need to find anyone who could help them understand their own kid. And there just wasn’t much out there,” says Gunther, who began creating the site in 1996, when he realized that there was no medium that could do what the Internet could do in terms of being rich in informational resources and also offering the magic of interactivity.
“We knew that an important aspect of the site was to present information in a form that average people could understand, and to include audio and video clips. Equally important was to create a sense of community.”
What makes the site unique is the access to expert advice. With the realization that parents have many, many questions about their own kids, the site offers regular columns by two leading experts in the field. Parents have access to all the up-to-date information collected on the site, and they also have the chance to get their own personal questions answered. Quite a step forward for the world of learning differences!
A Mind at a Time, by Mel Levine, Simon and Schuster, 2002. Intended for all parents, this book gives them a sense of what to look for during their child’s education.
Our Labeled Children – What Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know About Learning Disabilities, by Robert J. Sternberg and Elena L. Grigorenko, Perseus Publishing, 1999. Offers a comprehensive and informative discussion of the way learning disabilities are diagnosed and treated in our school systems.
All Kinds of Minds Institute – 919-933-8082 – This nonprofit organization helps families, educators and clinicians understand why children are struggling in school and provides practical strategies to help them become more successful learners.
The Learning Camp – 970-524-2706 – Located in Vail,
Learning Disabilities Association of
Schwab Learning – 650-655-2410 – is intended for parents who are looking for ways to help a kid live with learning differences. This well-designed site divides its information into three sections: identifying learning differences, managing learning differences and connecting with others.