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Learning disabilities were not part of the everyday educational lexicon in the 1970s. Today, the topic is a commonly-used term in the academic world. Research shows that one-tenth of kids in the United States are diagnosed with a learning disability. Recognizing these issues, Congress passed a series of laws over the past thirty years providing federal funds under infant, preschool and school-aged programs. The most recent legislation provided for special programs benefiting disabled children and a re-scoping of goals regarding special education for cerebral palsy patients.

Unfortunately, educational institutions associate cerebral palsy with learning disabilities, when in fact some students with cerebral palsy are not learning disabled. Based on the initial treatment and recovery from the initial injury, a child may have a learning disability so mild as to not greatly impede their learning, while others may be more unfortunately impaired. Many must accept a lifetime of severe challenges, leading to special education services and guidance during their schooling.

Some children require help in one area, while some will need assistance in all areas. A variety of factors affect a child's learning ability. Vision problems, balance and coordination, speech problems and delayed language skills can all impede a child's learning progress. Children with learning disabilities may require a variety of prompts and assistance in completing an academic task. Parents need to make their child's educational assistance team aware of their child's learning abilities and strengths as well as challenges.

Professional assessment of children impacted by cerebral birth trauma is crucial to determining the correct learning strategies. Early educational assessments measure strengths and weaknesses and discover possible disabilities and issues.

US regulations outline the and process used in the calculating services. U.S. Department of Education creates annual special education scorecards showing ratings for each State Performance Plan. This approach identifies factors in the planning of special education services to children with learning disabilities. Many factors influence the determination process. This process is known as Special Learning Disabilities (SLD) Determination. Schools and educators use these guidelines to determine determine a child's eligibility for special education services. Depending on the state or city you live in, you could find yourself battling with the school district to get the special education assistance your child has a legal right to. Locating local and state resources can be challenging; which is why the Cerebral Palsy Family Network created up-to-date state-by-state Survival Guides for parents.

Before selecting a school for your child, you need to know if he or she qualifies for special education assistance. The school may assume one of a number of plans. Some children with cerebral palsy with learning disabilities may be able to attend a mainstream school, possibly with an aide assigned or adaptive equipment and services as part of their academic program. Others may require enrolment in a special school that provides an array of services such as physical, speech, and language skills training administered by teachers and therapists with advanced training in individualized education. In the case of profound learning disabilities, the focus may be on on mobility, life skills and self care.
I am a mother of 4 great kids, ages 21 to 25, including my oldest, Danielle, who has severe spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. I am an editor and writer for Cerebral Palsy Family Network. Through CP Family Network and as editor of our Cerebral Palsy Survival Guides, I have the ability to make a contribution to other families.

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