Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shapes and angles

I was rummaging through my purse cleaning out debris from my recent vacation and I came across an article that I had torn from USA Today, Transitioning to college with a learning disability. According to the article the number of programs offered to students with learning disabilities at the nation's colleges have skyrocketed since 2001 from 22 to more than 250.  I get interested when I read these things in a "follow the money" curiousity. With programs come employment opportunities. Through grant money, the Department of Education encourages post-secondary institutions to establish transition programs for students with learning disabilities who want to go to college. According to the article, the number is "only going to increase"

Fair enough, I suppose for people with certain well documented learning disabilities like dyslexia, but then we come to a learning disability cited in the article that has to do with an "inability to recognize shapes and angles." The girl cited in the article has been receiving help for this since grade 3. My thinking is that maybe she should not major in math or design. When my sons were at school, so many children had very specific learning disabilities that sounded similar to the shapes and angles one, or else they involved "auditory processing deficits" or not being able to find the right word to use. They received extra time on tests. Is this proliferation of really specific learning disabilities that most people will eventually manage to compensate for, really all that necessary? I guess so, since there's a huge help industry out there that is "only going to increase."

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