It’s Learning Disability & ADHD Awareness Month

Earlier this month, we acknowledged that October is Learning Disability (LD) and ADHD awareness month on our social media channels. To better understand learning disabilities and ADHD, we reached out to our OCSB Psychologists Angele Ramsden and Francine Chappys for help! Here’s what they shared with us!

What is a Learning Disability (LD), and how does it impact families and students?

A Learning Disability is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the brain’s cognitive processes, which impact areas of learning like reading, writing, or math. Students with a Learning Disability have average to above average intelligence but may struggle in specific aspects of reading, writing, math, or language (to mention a few). Some students may experience frustration in not demonstrating their strengths as quickly or efficiently as they would like. Families can help their children by understanding their strengths, being aware of their needs, and exploring strategies for dealing with difficulties at school.

How does the OCSB support families impacted by learning disabilities?

There is a wide range of professionals who can support students with learning disabilities. School Board Psychology staff can help assess and diagnose the disorder. Educators and specialists can also assist in implementing strategies and interventions to support students. Our staff work together with students and families to help the child feel supported and empowered at school.

How can I learn more about learning disabilities?

Learning Disability Awareness Month brings an opportunity to reflect, learn, and move forward in supporting students with learning disabilities. You can learn more through sites like LD@HOME or LDAO.ca to gain knowledge and decrease stigma. Together, we can foster a greater understanding of students’ lived experiences with learning disabilities through awareness and compassion.

What is ADHD, and how does it impact families and students?

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It’s usually diagnosed in childhood, but it can last throughout the lifespan. Children with ADHD may have trouble sustaining attention, be overly active, or may have trouble not acting on impulse, but they also may have trouble managing big emotions. This can lead to struggles at home with morning, homework, and bedtime routines which puts a lot of strain on families.

How does the OCSB support learners with ADHD?

School Board Psychology staff can offer a range of services, starting with assessment and leading to recommendations for parents about supporting their children at home. This includes taking the battle out of getting ready for school, doing homework, and getting to bed. Our Psychology staff can also suggest to teachers how to support ADHD students in the classroom so they can work to their potential.

How can I learn more about ADHD?

As we become better aware of ADHD, we can be hopeful and purposeful in our efforts to help learners impacted by ADHD. If you have a personal experience with ADHD, you know how real it is and how big an impact it can have on everyday living. Together we can bust the unhelpful myths about ADHD and treat those who have it more fairly and compassionately.

Check out ADDitutudeMag’s helpful calendar 31 Ways to Raise ADHD Awareness.

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