About the Author

About the Author

Beth Arky 

learning disability:

Disorders that result in learning challenges that are not caused by low intelligence, problems with hearing or vision or lack of educational opportunity. Many children with learning disabilities have difficulties in particular skill areas, such as reading or math. These children may also have trouble paying attention and getting along with their peers. Often referred to as LD.


A specific learning disability in reading. Kids with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. They may also have trouble with reading comprehension, spelling and writing.

reading comprehension:

How well children understand what they read. This is closely related to listening comprehension, but some kids who struggle to follow a story that is read aloud do better when they read silently and vice versa.

listening comprehension:

Understanding speech. Lower levels of listening comprehension would include understanding only the facts stated in a basic spoken passage. Advanced levels of listening comprehension would include the ability to understand the meaning behind what is said or draw inferences from advanced spoken passages.


Short for Individualized Education Program. A plan that details the support and services (such as speech therapy or multisensory reading instruction) a school will provide to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability who qualifies for special education.

504 plan:

A plan that lists the accommodations a school will provide, such as audiobooks, note-taking aids or extended time to complete tests, so that a student with a disability has equal access to the general education curriculum.

Office of Special Education Programs:

An office of the U.S. Department of Education whose goal is to improve results for children with disabilities (ages birth through 21) by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. Often referred to as OSEP.