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About LD

The following are questions and answers from Dr. Tracy Gray on this topic.

How can I learn my basic academic skills when the high school will not help me?

First, discuss your concerns about your skills with your parents. Your parents could request an assessment of your skills by the school, or possibly through a professional outside the school. If you currently have an IEP, the school should also evaluate you to determine whether assistive technology could be a helpful accommodation. Under IDEA, possible technology accommodations must be considered for students with disabilities in addition to other accommodations and modifications as part of the IEP process.

There are a number of software programs available that can assess your skill levels in reading and mathematics, including AutoSkill, Skill Detective, and Skill Navigator. These programs will then provide you with targeted activities and lessons to help you improve areas of deficit. Because many of these programs are specifically designed for use in schools, your school would have to order one for your use.

It may be worthwhile to have your parents discuss your skill levels with your teachers and determine whether skill-building software might be a helpful solution for helping to get you caught up with your peers. Once you start improving your writing and grammar skills, I'd also recommend finding ways to engage in more writing opportunities outside of school.

If there is something you are particularly interested in, or know a great deal about, you might consider starting your own blog or contributing to a public blog or to a wiki. Consistent experience with writing in a more informal and "fun" setting might make you more comfortable with writing. The more you write, the more you'll have the opportunity to practice your new skills and continue to improve.

Note from LD OnLine: Visit Dr. Silver's About LD section to see a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist's response to the same question.

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