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A Learning Disability (LD) is a neurologically-based, hereditary condition that affects a person’s ability to learn in “typical” ways. Children and adults with LD have challenges understanding and using language and their ability to receive, process, recall and communicate information is affected. They typically have above average intelligence an all they need to succeed is an understanding of their learning style and the tools and confidence to overcome their challenges.
Learning Disabilities vary considerably in their expression, severity, and impact. Learning Disabilities encompass a cluster of disorders, and no one individual will display all of them. For example, some people with LD have a math difficulty, whereas others excel in math but struggle with reading. Difficulties may also affect learning in different ways at different age levels. For example, an underlying language disorder may appear as a delayed speech problem in the preschooler, as a reading disorder in the elementary student, and as a writing disorder in the secondary student.
Only a professional evaluation by a registered Psychologist can determine the presence of a Learning Disability.
Learning disabilities are life-long. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual’s lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual’s strengths and needs.
Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors or injury that alters brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more processes related to learning. These disorders are not due primarily to hearing and/or vision problems, socio-economic factors, cultural or linguistic differences, lack of motivation or ineffective teaching, although these factors may further complicate the challenges faced by individuals with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities may co-exist with various conditions including attentional, behavioural and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.
Many children, adolescents or adults experience one or more of the above signs in the normal course of their development. Only when a number of these characteristics are present might there be an indication of a learning disability.
Only a professional evaluation can determine the presence of a learning disability.
Is your child diagnosed with a Learning Disability or do you suspect that they may have a learning challenge? The Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver (LDAV) has been helping families for over 40 years. With a little help, children and youth with Learning Disabilities can learn to recognize their strengths and overcome their learning challenges to succeed. Read below to learn more about Learning Disabilities and how we can help.
Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency. Learn more about the characteristics of Learning Disabilities on our LD links page.
As a parent, if you have concerns about your child’s development you should seek help. You should collect information about your child’s performance and meet with the child’s day-care providers, nannies, and babysitters to discuss these concerns. Ask them to observe your child’s ability and development in those areas of concern. Gather the information and contact your family physician or pediatrician.
The pediatrician is usually the first person to consult about a young child. Because developing a standard of what is normal and what is not takes experience with many babies and children, parents of young children are wise to have a pediatrician or family doctor to whom they can turn. Such health-care professionals recognize normal development and they are experienced in suggesting management at different stages of growth.
The LDAV offers a range of programs and services to support the diagnosis and remediation of children and youth aged 5-17 with suspected or diagnosed Learning Disabilities. We work with parents to help them understand their child’s unique situation and provide advice and referrals. We also provide parents with the tools and information they need to access important resources and advocate for their child within the school system. Visit our program and services section to find out more about:
Call us today for a consultation or complete an New Client- Intake Call Sheet and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not in Metro Vancouver or the Lower Mainland visit www.ldabc.ca to find the Learning Disabilities Association Chapter nearest to you.
For more detailed information about your rights, special education, individual education plans, frequently asked questions and options for problem solving download the Know Your Rights guide.
Attend one of our Parent Information sessions to learn more about advocating for your child, understanding different forms of Learning Disabilities, financial resource and more.Find out about upcoming workshops.
The Walk a Mile in My shoes Workshop is an experiential program designed to give the audience a deep understanding if what it’s like to have a Learning Disability. The workshop can be tailored to children and youth, educators, parents, and the workplace and is available in 1 hour, 2 hour, ½ day or full day segments. Check out the WAMS schedule to learn more about the next workshop or call us today to book a custom workshop. Learn more
Go to our LD Links page for a comprehensive list of links.
Information on this website is provided solely as a service; this does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation or certification by the Learning Disabilities Association Vancouver (LDAV), and should not in any way be construed as a suggestion that any names or companies listed have a relationship with LDAV.
Information is provided for the convenience of those inquiring. All arrangements are between the consumer and the service provider.
The LDAV has relationships with many schools and teachers across Metro Vancouver. We also work closely with the Vancouver School Board, multicultural workers, school based resource teams and others. The LDAV does not replace school supports for children but rather works to complement and enhance them. We collaborate with schools and teachers in the following ways:
We work collaboratively with parents and teachers and other professionals such as Psychologists and Speech Therapists to assess each child’s learning styles and create a plan for success. Our aim is to include all relevant partners in the establishment and tracking of goals and strategies.
We offer a range of workshops and training specifically designed to assist teachers and school based resource teams. These workshops offer cutting-edge information and research on Learning Disabilities. Our annual Speaking of Kids Conference offers educators an opportunity to connect with resources and see world-renowned speakers. We also offer customizable workshops for students and school faculty. These workshops are designed to provide teachers with more in-depth knowledge about Learning Disabilities, cues to identify suspected Learning Disabilities and how to support children with LD in the classroom. Our staff can also work with teachers to identify students with suspected LD and suggest follow-up actions. See our Workshops and Outreach page for more information or contact us ] today to find our more.
Our Community Satellite-School Program is an innovative service delivery model wherein we work with schools to deliver on-site services to children in their “home school”. We are invited by teachers and school administration to offer these services in the school as a complimentary support. This model reduces barriers for our most vulnerable children and provides them with access to the learning supports they need to succeed. The program currently operates in four schools across Metro Vancouver. Contact our Program Coordinator to learn more.
Our Standard Practice for student assessment and remediation is based on Ministry of Education practices and procedures for special education and prescribed learning outcomes.
The Education Consultant and Tutors use the Brigance Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills, Psychological Educational Assessment, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and other Professional assessments, Individual Education Plans (IEPs), report cards and all other relevant documentation to assess a child’s current level of performance and academic achievement.
We use this information to establish a baseline for the child, and set three Individual Learning Goals to be measured at the mid- and post- term points at LDAV. The Brigance and other tools assist us in documenting the gains students have made.
We offer a range of programs for children that are focused on building self-esteem and increasing social skills and academic achievement. Our goal is to ensure that programs remain accessible to all families. We work closely with families to explore financial options and generous support from our donors allows us to keep fees low as well as offer bursaries and scholarships. See our Programs and Services page for a full description.
Referring a student to LDAV
If you suspect a child in your class has a Learning Disability or you know a child has a Learning Disability and you are seeking further resources and support please complete the Community Referral Form (will be posted soon) and fax it to the LDAV Office. Contact us if you have any questions
The LDAV works with a variety of children’s specialists to deliver wrap-around service to the children and youth we serve. Many Clinical Psychologists provide referrals to us and partner with LDAV to provide Psychological Educational Assessments for clients. We also work with Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, School Councellors, School Psychologists, Registered Clinical Counsellors and many others to ensure children receive the services they require to succeed.
The Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver offers services to children and youth aged 5-17. In some cases we will offer services to youth up to the age of 19, however, at this time we do not provide supports to adults with Learning Disabilities.
Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.Learn more about the characteristics of Learning Disabilities on our LD Resources page.
Society is coming to understand that everyone is wired to learn in their own way and that we must all celebrate our unique learning strengths. In fact, many very successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and Richard Branson of Virgin grew up with Learning Disabilities. Diagnosing your Learning Disability (LD) is an important part of understanding your learning challenges and strengths. Once you know how your brain learns you can open up a world of possibility.
It is never too late to get help for learning disabilities. Testing specialists are available for people of all ages, and assistance is available for every stage of life. Taking the initiative to seek out support and services is the first step in dealing learning disabilities. Many adults (some of whom are unaware of their LDs) have developed ways to cope with their difficulties and are able to lead successful lives. LDs shouldn’t hinder a person from attaining goals. Regardless of the situation, understanding the specific challenges and learning strategies to deal with LDs directly at every stage can alleviate a lot of frustration and make successful living much easier
If you believe you may have a Learning Disability
The following resources can be contacted for more information:
Interested in Learning more about LD, or educating colleagues and peers at your school or workplace? The Walk a Mile in My Shoes Workshop is an interactive workshop that provides participants with a deeper understanding of what it’s like to have a Learning Disability. Learn more here.
There are many laws and policies that govern your right to assistance and supports. Visit the following sites for more information:
** This information was copied in part from the Know your Rights Handbook developed by “Know Your Rights” is a project of the Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia, South Vancouver Island Chapter (LDA-SVI). It was funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.