October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, the goal of which is to bring wide-spread awareness and to, and education about, these hidden disabilities. Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, have some type of learning disability (LD), according to the National Institutes of Health. The most common are difficulty with basic reading and language skills. In fact, as many as 80% of students with a LD have reading problems.
Unfortunately, many misconceptions about learning disabilities exist. In a 2012 online survey by The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), half of the people surveyed name medication and mental health counseling as treatments for LD. Another third thought that lack of parent or teacher involvement in early childhood can cause LD. Others thought that LD is caused by a poor diet, vaccinations, or too much TV.
Learning disabilities are a lifelong disability, developmental in nature, and have no cure. The LDA of WNY believes that every person with learning disabilities can be successful at school, at work, in relationships, and in the community – given the right opportunities. Our goal is to ensure such opportunities exist. That’s why our primary mission is to provide high-quality individualized, comprehensive, and innovative services, which support, educate, and empower all individuals with learning and/or developmental disabilities.
As part of our outreach, the LDA of WNY will be participating in several community events throughout the month, including Disability Awareness Month at the Buffalo and Erie County Library on October 3rd. If you have any questions or concerns, please stop by our table to receive guidance from one of our professionals.
Many resources exist to help you find the supports and services for you and your loved one. For more information, visit the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY website at www.ldaofwny.org or call us at (716) 874-7200.