Training Kit Helps Teachers and Parents Identify Learning Disabilities in Young Children

The National Center for Learning Disabilities, New York, carried out a project to provide teachers, school administrators, and health providers with better methods and tools to diagnose learning disabilities before children reach the third grade.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities was founded in 1977 to promote public awareness and understanding of learning disabilities, which research has shown to have potentially serious, long-term consequences to an individual's health, social skills, and employment.

Results Prior to This Project

As part of its education efforts, in 1996 the National Center for Learning Disabilities developed and published a training kit, Every Child is Learning, with funding from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Dolan Family Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson.

The kit, which consists of a work-and resource-book, observations sheets, and a videotape, is designed to:

  • Help parents and teachers of pre-school children identify the warning signs of learning disabilities.
  • Increase parents' and teachers' knowledge of early childhood development.
  • Improve their capacity to correctly observe and respond to children's different learning styles.

Key Results

Starting in 1997, the National Center for Learning Disabilities launched a five-year distribution, technical support, and evaluation plan in 10 targeted marketing areas: New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and New York.

A grant from the RWJF provided partial support for the dissemination campaign, covering personnel costs, meetings of state liaisons, and distribution of kits in two key market states, New Jersey and California.

  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities identified Newgrange Educational Outreach Center, an organization that works with disabled students in Princeton, N.J., and the San Francisco Unified School District in San Francisco, Calif. to distribute 480 copies of the training kit (value of $89 each), and provide training and follow-up to workshop participants in late 1997 and early 1998.

    The two organizations:

    • Have direct access to teachers and other potential users of Every Child Is Learning.
    • Are experienced in providing workshops, seminars, and other training programs for mainstream and special education teachers.
  • Information about Every Child Is Learning is now included in all National Center for Learning Disabilities outreach efforts: its annual information publication, newsletters, and Web site.

    The kit is also featured at meetings and conventions of educators, school administrators, and health professionals throughout the year.