What are

Learning disabilities are a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.

Every individual with a learning disability is unique and shows a different combination and degree of difficulties. A common characteristic among people with learning disabilities is uneven areas of ability, “a weakness within a sea of strengths.” For instance, a person with dyslexia who struggles with reading, writing and spelling may be very capable in math and science.

Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities:” the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.

A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community.


How is LDI a good program for teens and young adults with learning disabilities?

The purpose of LDI programs are to create a practical and inclusive bridge between the secondary and higher education/career development aspirations for under-prepared and under-represented college students with learning challenges that improves readiness and academic success in college, builds interpersonal effectiveness, self-esteem/confidence, develops self-advocacy and leadership skills.

Using a strength-based (non-disability) approach, LDI’s evidence-based, peer-validated pragmatic model is designed to address the specific developmental, academic and career needs of this under-prepared students that are 14 years of age and older through several levels in their transition to independent and self-supported living – from earning a high school diploma, starting college to achieving careers through employment that is compatible with their unique capabilities.

The program focuses its classroom instruction on achieving mastery of specific, major adult life demands in the areas of career planning, social/emotional maturity, establishing independence & competitive job development/placement- which are based on the behaviors that any individual- disabled or not- will need for personal success in their home communities


What improvements have been recognized in students with learning disabilities after completion of the LDI program?

  • Can make informed career planning decisions by utilizing a system of tools, considerations, and methods that recognize and build on individual assets and manage functional limitations
  • Makes logical connections between his wants and needs across a variety of adult life decisions.
  • Understands and complies with the policy/procedure demands of a particular work setting.
  • More self-aware of how their behavior affects the positive development of peer relationships
  • Less avoidance-type behaviors due to increased practice and personal responsibility in dealing the perceived risks of “failing”
  • More effectively handles daily life stresses as a result of being involved in or responsible for critical decisions about their life.
  • Consistently tries to make decisions that are both personally satisfying and acceptable to other adults involved in the process.

Learn More

If you wish to receive additional information about Life Development Institute and how we can help you or your child, please complete this form.

You may also contact our Admissions Manager at (623) 773-1545 to discuss your needs.

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