Parents bring in their youngster for an assessment and find that yes, their child does have a specific issue that’s causing them to learn at a different rate than others in their class. And interestingly enough, many of the things holding back their child are very, very familiar.
“They might suddenly realize ‘hey, that’s a lot like me’ and even though they’re 30 or 40 years old, they might decide to get assessed,” said Lisa Heron with the LDAS. “Then maybe they’ll go back to school, or see things about how they learn so they can be more successful at work or in their home lives, whatever they need.
“With a learning disability, you can have average to above-average intelligence and you might just need a bit of help in certain areas.”
In the past, having a chance to work on learning issues meant taking regular trips into Regina for classes and meetings. That will all change on Tuesday, Oct. 26 when the LDAS celebrates the grand opening of their new Moose Jaw office, bringing a host of educational improvement opportunities right to the community’s doorstep.
“We do get a lot of people coming to Regina from Moose Jaw for support, so we just felt it was time to open a Moose Jaw office,” Heron said. “We deliver a lot of different types of services and we’re starting out a bit smaller. We’ll have an adult education classroom and we only have about five students in it at the moment, but as we grow we’ll be able to expand. Then when it comes to our other services, like tutoring, the skies the limit.”
The plan will be to hire as many tutors as needed to support their clients, with the same idea flowing into other areas -- the more the need increases, the more the LDAS will do to deal with the demand. And plans are already coming together to add a reading intervention and math intervention program for students who are struggling in the classroom.
“If we need more space we’ll create more space and bring in people to help as the need becomes greater,” Heron said.
The LDAS covers just about everything one can imagine when it comes to learning issues -- ranging from creating an academic strategy to ADHD coaching and behaviour therapy, to things like their GED program and employability coaching.
And it all starts with a simple phone call or e-mail message.
“You don’t have to be referred by a doctor or school or anything, and lots of time we’ll have people call who don’t know what questions to ask because they aren’t sure about it, they just heard about it and think maybe we can help,” Heron said. “So we’ll talk and see what kind of supports and services they might need.”
Heron pointed to the Homework Club as one of their more popular ventures.
“It’s free tutoring twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and parents are able to book their kids in for sessions, they bring their kids and their homework for an hour-long appointment with the teacher and get the help they need to learn,” Heron explained.
“I could be calling when my child is in Grade 2 and is struggling with reading and the teacher says they need some extra help, then they find out about the Homework Club, and we’re able to make a difference.”
While some of their services come at no cost, those that do are often covered by employment benefits. And if they aren’t the LDAS will do what they can to help in that regard.
“At the end of the day we want to help as many people as we can and help them find the financing if necessary,” Heron said. “We keep our prices really low in comparison to the public sector.”
The grand opening of their office at 109 Ominica St. W. will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 and is open to anyone who wants to check out what the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan is all about and what they have to offer.
For more information, visit www.LDAS,org, give them a shout at 1-888-306-5327 and check them out on social media.