When I wrote “An Elephant in the LD Room” my intention was to start highlighting four main realities:
1. How hurt, shame, anger. depression and self-abuse can become a part of the lives of children and adults with learning disabilities,
2. As a result of #1, schooling to address the remediation of the learning difficulties will need a more therapeutic/clinical focus than solely an academic one.
3. Now that there are many, many more therapeutic schools and wilderness programs that advertise and market themselves as being suited for kids with various learning disabilities, I wanted to get involved in a discussion about schools and programs thatÂ actually deliver on those claims.
4. I acknowledge that this is a controversial and important subject because lives are at stake. Â When a college list is created for a student with a learning disability, there’s a significant need to get that right, but when looking at matching needs to programs with therapeutic/clinical environments, when students have begun to struggle and mess with self harm, depression, drugs, and the like, the need to get it as right as possible becomes much more critical.
Don’t you think?
A Â reminder: Â I’m not Â saying that learning disabilities cause emotional and mental health issues. Â In fact some of the most creative successful and healthy people and kids I know have learning disabilities.
It’s just that the risk factors are there and can’t be ignored.
Last week I visited some wilderness therapy programs and specialized schools that combine clinical expertise with an informed and sensitive understanding of learning disabilities. Â I had some eye opening experiences.