Hungry for some good data? Then dig into a new report called The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5. It was published this week by one of Understood’s founding partners, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD).
This is the fourth edition of The State of LD. (“LD” is short for learning disabilities.) The report is a trusted resource for parents, educators and policymakers. And the new version has broadened in scope to include ADHD. The subtitle refers to the 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who have learning and thinking differences.
The State of LD uses the latest statistics to shine a light on key challenges facing the 1 in 5. It also includes field-leading research and new opportunities to help these children succeed in school and in life. Here are five ways parents can use the report to help kids thrive.
1. Get the big picture.
There’s also a “1 in 5” snapshot that explains common barriers to success. It includes several ways to help kids with learning and thinking differences. See this two-page PDF, which is designed to be printed and shared.
2. Be a myth buster.
The State of LD debunks common myths about learning and thinking differences. For example, 48 percent of parents believe—incorrectly—that kids will “outgrow” these issues. And 33 percent of teachers think that sometimes learning and thinking differences are really just laziness.
By sharing the report, you can help reduce stigma and help more kids get the support they need to succeed.
3. Learn about the importance of high expectations.
Children with learning and thinking differences are as smart as their peers. And with the right support they can achieve at high levels. That’s one of the key takeaways in The State of LD.
But low expectations can limit opportunities. As noted in The State of LD, less than 3 percent of students in gifted programs or AP courses have IEPs. Twice-exceptional students need to be on the radar at more schools. Only seven states include “gifted with a disability” when they define kinds of giftedness.
4. See how your state stacks up.
The State of LD uses interactive graphics to highlight differences between states. Topics include:
Disability type: How many students with IEPs are identified as having LD? States vary widely in this area. In Utah, it’s 48 percent. In Kentucky, it’s 19 percent.
Graduation: How many students who have IEPs for LD leave school with a regular diploma? In New Jersey, it’s 95 percent. In Nevada, it’s 31 percent.
5. Dig in to policy.
The more you know about your child’s rights, the more effective you can be as an advocate for your child. The first chapter of The State of LD has a handy overview of federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities. This includes laws that protect the rights of students with disabilities.
The other chapters go into more detail about new laws or new guidance. There’s also a section on recommended policy changes. See why personalized learning has the power to transform education for kids with learning and thinking differences. And understand how social-emotional learning needs to be tailored so the 1 in 5 can truly benefit from it.