How important is literacy to you? When you think about literacy, do you ever think about the learning disabilities that keep many from achieving it? Today we thought we'd share our thoughts on literacy & LDs. Enjoy!
Rhonda & the Bridgeway team
Canada celebrated Family Literacy Day on Friday, January 27. The date - and many celebrations to mark it - were organized by ABC Literacy Canada, "a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills." They clearly recognize that literacy is an important skill to leading a fully engaged life, and they support lifelong learning for everyone. Literacy is also more than the written word - it's financial literacy too. Important stuff.
However, it was disappointing to find that the site (along with other literacy sites I visited) contained no information on dyslexia and dyscalculia (learning disabilities that affect reading and math), and very little on the the subject of learning disabilities in general. Not everyone who struggles to read has a disability, but many do. Unfortunately, that's not always recognized early in the learning process. Often, the approach to helping these kids is to continue to use the same methods of instruction over and over again in the hope the child will eventually "get it". While practice makes perfect in some areas, it won't work with a child with learning disabilities. The best approach is to change the method of instruction to an approach that's tailored to the specific learning disability.
We also need to think this way when considering adults and literacy. There are many reasons that an adult may not have learned to read, but we have to recognize that many of those individuals may have struggled (and continue to struggle) with learning disabilities. Often, a diagnosis of a learning disability can come as a relief to an adult who has likely come to believe that their lack of skills was a matter of a lower intelligence level.
Let's start making the connection to literacy and learning disabilities and share the information that will help those struggling with literacy to learn in the ways that work best for them. By talking about learning disabilities, we'll help families, teachers and others recognize problems seek out appropriate interventions early in the learning process. That will allow us to ensure our kids develop those critical skills that will allow them to pursue a fully engaged life, contributing in a meaninful way to our economy and building the confidence and self-esteem they need to soar.
Post-script - We e-mailed ABC Life Literacy Canada and suggested they add some information on dyslexia, dyscalculia and other learning disabilities to the website. We're delighted to let you know that they have embraced the idea and are working toward that goal! We'll share the link when the information is posted. Thanks ABC Life Literacy Canada!
1 week ago