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Trouble with Spelling and Reading
Q: How can I help someone who has a learning disability in spelling and reading? Thanks for your time.
A: The answer is yes. There are lots of people and programs that can help someone who has a learning disability that affects spelling and reading. Schools are required by law to provide services to children with learning disabilities. If you are in school, or if you have a child in school, you can talk to a teacher, a principal, or a director of special education in your town and they can get the process started. If you have any difficulty getting answers from the people in your school, call the Department of Education in your state and ask them for help.
Many colleges or junior colleges have learning centers that provide services to students with learning disabilities. Contact the admissions office and they will tell you what's available. If you are older, you can contact several groups that can tell you where to find services for young (or older) adults who might have learning disabilities. The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) can give you the phone number of the LDA office in your state. You can also go to LDOnline to get information about learning disabilities. You can also contact the International Dyslexia Association for information about learning disabilities that affect spelling and reading.
If you are an adult, and your learning problems have kept you from getting or keeping a job, then you might want to contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Office in your city or state. They can help you get an evaluation and then they will try to help you get (and keep) a job. You might also want to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that gives certain rights to people with all kinds of disabilities, including learning disabilities. Once you start looking, you'll be amazed by the number of people or organizations that provide information and services to people with learning disabilities.
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Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.