National Center of Learning Disabilities: Amazing resource for Dyslexia and Beyond

Last week I hosted a luncheon with the National Center of Learning Disabilities with my friend Whitney for Philadelphia area Moms to discuss Dyslexia, learning disabilities, and how parents can best advocate for their children.

Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, an expert from the National Center for Learning Disabilities shared his expertise with us.

His most powerful quote of the day  was inspiring and positive, “Learning disabilities are an island of weakness in a sea of strength.” 

Our roundtable was stimulating and eye-opening. Millions of people in the US live with learning disabilities and it is amazing how many people have undiagnosed learning disabilities – like dyslexia or other processing disorders – who learn to COMPENSATE for their challenges. These children are often incredibly smart and can even get by until high school without being diagnosed. However, this causes those with a learning disability to often miss many of the essential learning blocks and reading skills taught during the early elementary years.

The website, strives to improve the lives of those who live with learning disabilities. provides incredible resources for parents. Most importantly, our discussion highlighted that PARENTS are the best advocates for their children. We know our own children best – even if we have zero background as an educator.

Did you know that Parents will often correctly suspect a learning disability for over 1 year before it is identified?

So the key takeaway is that as parents we must advocate for testing and intervention with our children when we suspect something is not clicking correctly. And if we have a friend who suspects their child has a learning disability or something isn’t clicking with their reading, we should remind them that perhaps there is a small learning disability and it couldn’t hurt for an extra evaluation from a reading specialist at school. Many parents don’t realize this is an option! Even the best teachers are very busy and overwhelmed with a classroom of young kids. Can you imagine being a teacher with 20 1st grade students? With tons of students in a classroom, it is often easy for kids to sail on through without intervention when perhaps it really is necessary.

It’s our right to request evaluations from the school system too – and the school MUST respond with an evaluation within 60 days of our request. That’s a national law.

The website offers an comprehensive way for Parents to assess if perhaps their child might have a disability via a questionnaire that lets parents browse by AGE and STAGE to see what problems might exist.

Here are some really helpful links to learn more about Dyslexia and other learning disabilities:

> Video: What Is Dyslexia?
> Testing for Dyslexia 
> Free Toolkit: Dyslexia 101

> Reading Tips for Children with LD
> What Is a 504 Plan?

How to be a Learning Disabilities Advocate.

More photos from our fun day. My favorite was of EcoIncognito Mom wearing her adorable baby!

About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).

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