On Learning Differences

Vol. 1, No. 1 - Information on Learning Differences Online Fall 2002


Welcome to Visions on Learning Differences

Postsecondary Decision-Making for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Characteristics of the Gifted Post-Secondary Student with Dyslexia and/or ADHD

From Struggle to Success in College

Congratulations to the CRLA and IDA Presidents-Elect

In Memorium

Conference Information

Legislative Concerns


About the Editor

Sharing Ideas

Permission to Copy from Visions on Learning Differences

Dedication-Musical Tribute to America and World Peace

A Blessed Holiday Season to All

Please see other issues


The meeting in March, 2002 of the New York Branch of the International Dyslexia Association was an exciting event. The attorney David Boies spoke movingly of his experiences as a dyslexic parent of two dyslexic boys. His life is a testament to the realization that many with a learning difference can overcome that difference and succeed in life. The neuroscientist Dr. Gordon Sherman, Past President of IDA, spoke with the geneticist Dr. Shelley Smith on recent neuroscience research findings and their impact on teaching strategies. Dr. Sherman stated that dyslexia is a brain based difference, yet we can design educational environments that prevent or diminish reading disabilities. Additionally, there were sessions on memory, non-verbal learning disabilities and legal issues as well. Then, Pearl Rosen, an artist and instructor in the New Perspectives Program at the Bank Street College, also with the National Center for Disability Services, spoke of art museum education for students with learning disabilities. She demonstrated strategies using the sense of touch as well as the use of color, proven highly beneficial in facilitating education for students with learning differences. Dr. Michele Bartnett, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, later discussed the in-depth interpretation of test results in the evaluation of learning different students.

The NADE conference in Florida in March, 2002 welcomed attendees with topiary trees shaped like Donald Duck and friends, and provided many informative institutes. Drs. David Caverly and Cynthia Peterson presented Technology Support Strategies for Online Education. Dr. Donna Lenaghan spoke on multiple intelligences. The sessions included assisting students with test anxiety, which involved allowing them time to regain their composure, thorough review, and issuing small presents, for instance, Hershey hugs. Some presenters reviewed computer programs and guidance for students on Internet searches. Others delineated strategies for reading comprehension, concentrating on finding main ideas. Additionally, there were interesting sessions on math. For example, one speaker presented slides of in-class settings in South Africa, as well as beautiful slides of the country. Thank you to those who attended my session, Star Studded Strategies for Identifying, Accommodating and Remediating Students with Learning Differences.

Although keynote speakers urged colleges to prepare for the increase in technology and the expansion of diversity on college campusrs, some of the current college personnel face budget cuts, which may preclude an increase in services. Others believe the formal definition of the term "learning disabled" may be vague. Several are concerned that federal guidelines require the college or university to provide reasonable accommodations, another imprecise term, which may, in some instances, create financial distress for their institutions.

The exhibits offered valuable new materials. Townsend Press included excellent literature texts, and Houghton Mifflin and Prentice-Hall introduced outstanding study skills texts. Prentice Hall has also published Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities, Richard D. Bucher, 2000, which addresses some of the needs presented by the keynote speakers at the conference. Please visit their websites for further information. Additionally, Bedford St. Martin, McGraw-Hill and Newsweek had a wide range of informative materials available to those who teach developmental studies. The National Center for Developmental Education exhibited handouts on educational research, and Grambling State University, CRLA and NADE offered valuable information for attendees.

Then, Lee Brandon, who has instructed students in college and in prison, has written the At a Glance series on Sentences, Paragraphs and Essays, available from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin. These texts have benefited developmental students. Lee hosted a successful and fun event, the Open Mic (microphone). The members sang a variety of American and international songs, played word games and shared jokes.

Volume 1, Issue 2 of Visions on Learning Differences will contain reports of the recent College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) and International Dyslexia Association (IDA) conferences. For current information, please visit and

Upcoming conferences offer many sessions and events of high interest to educators, counselors and administrators who serve special education and developmental students, as well as to the students and their families.

National Association for Developmental Education - February 12-15, 2003 in Austin, Texas.

New York Branch of the International Dyslexia Association - March 21-22, 2003

Please visit their websites for conference registration and other information.