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What is a Learning Difference?

The Paul Rabil Foundation recognizes the many children that need help because of reading or learning challenges. Thank you again for all you do to help make a brighter future for our low-income students that could never afford to go to a summer camp program without your financial support.

- Marcy K. Kolodny, Dyslexia Tutoring Program

Dear Teacher Heartfelt Advice for Teachers from Students

Dear Teacher Heartfelt Advice for Teachers from Students

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Video courtesy of Brain Highways - a fun, educational program to improve learning, focus, and behavior. See more on their site about how dyslexia symptoms may also be explained by retained primitive reflexes and incomplete lower brain development.


Dyslexia is a reading difference that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. Dyslexia is the most common form of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. It is a syndrome of varied symptoms affecting over 40 million American children and adults.

Dyslexia occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language. It is not caused by vision problems. The disorder is a specific information-processing problem that does not interfere with one's ability to think or to understand complex ideas. Most people with DRD have normal intelligence, and many have above-average intelligence.

Dyslexia may appear in combination with developmental writing disorder and developmental arithmetic disorder. All of these involve using symbols to convey information. These conditions may appear alone or in any combination.

Dyslexia is not something that a child will outgrow.

One of the most common misconceptions about dyslexia is that it is a simple matter of reading words "backwards." Instead, it refers to differences in the brain that result in language learning difficulties associated with auditory skills.

A breakdown in these auditory skills can be observed in very young children when they struggle to

recognize and create rhyming words, to identify the number of sounds in a word, and to blend sounds together to form words. For some students, the reading process is further complicated by visual

processing and perceptual deficits.

  • Difficulty with reading and/or writing

  • Problems with math skills

  • Difficulty remembering

  • Problems paying attention

  • Trouble following directions

  • Poor coordination

  • Difficulty with concepts related to time

  • Problems staying organized

These signs alone are not enough to determine that a person has a learning disability.

A professional assessment is necessary to diagnose a learning disability. is an excellent resource for the millions of parents whose children,

ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues.


Many educational strategies are available to build on your child’s strengths. Understanding these strategies can help you work with the school to figure out what’s right for your child.

Here is a list of some of  strategies you’re most likely to encounter:

  • Qualifying your child for accommodations through the teacher, or in an IEP or a 504 plan.

  • Modifications that can change how your child is taught or expected to do in school.

  • Looking at  independent schools for students with learning differences which can provide a place where your child doesn’t feel “different.”

  • Using school or  private tutoring to enhance learning styles.

  • Assistive technology, software or equipment that can help with learning and attention issues work around their challenges.

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