What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.
Every individual with a learning disability is unique and shows a different combination and degree of difficulties. A common characteristic among people with learning disabilities is uneven areas of ability, “a weakness within a sea of strengths.” For instance, a person with dyslexia who struggles with reading, writing and spelling may be very capable in math and science.
Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.
Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities:” the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.
A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community.
How is LDI a good program for young adults with LD?
Since 1982, the Life Development Institute (LDI), a private community-based organization located in Glendale, Arizona, has served thousands of older adolescents and young adults from around the world struggling with learning disabilities, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, Nonverbal learning disorders or related conditions overcome the often demoralizing effects from years of school, social, and personal achievement failures by providing them the instruction, “real world” experience and practical tools needed to lead meaningful, productive and independent lives.
Using a strength-based (non-disability) approach, our evidence-based, peer-validated pragmatic model is designed to address the specific developmental, academic and career needs of under-prepared students with learning disabilities 17 years of age and older through several levels in their transition to independent and self-supported living – from earning a high school diploma, starting college to achieving careers through employment compatible with their unique capabilities.
The purpose of the program is to create a practical and inclusive bridge between the secondary and higher education/career development aspirations for under-prepared and under-represented young adults with learning disabilities that improves readiness and success in college or career programs, builds interpersonal effectiveness, self-esteem/confidence, work experience, and develops self-advocacy/leadership skills.
The program focuses its classroom instruction on achieving mastery of specific, major adult life demands in the areas of career planning, social/emotional maturity, establishing independence & competitive job development/placement- which are based on the behaviors that any individual- disabled or not- will need for personal success in their home communities.
LDI is part of the community, not an “island’. It provides a supportive campus, inclusive residential community, and access to institutions of higher learning that provides the education, skills and training needed to live independently.The usual limitation of similar residential or boarding school situations is that they are “sheltered” or “clinical” in their orientation whereas our setting is an actual apartment complex-not a dormitory, institutional setting, or group home.
The Institute is authorized to enroll and provide M-1 visas for nonimmigrant foreign students by the Department of Homeland Security , is fully accredited through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation & School Improvement, multi-agency vendor approval & private party paid.
For more information about our school and college program, call us today!
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