The de Paul School has adopted the term learning differences when addressing the challenges our students face in the classroom. The term specific learning differences is gaining wider use among educators and publishers in place of specific learning disabilities. By using the term learning differences, we are not seeking to downplay the consequences of these learning challenges, but we are choosing to focus on the potential for learning and success that each child possesses. We have come to believe that the true learning disability is when a child can learn, but is not taught in the way in which he or she can process and understand the academic content.
Working with our population of students demands that we find the teaching difference that matches the individual’s needs, which keeping high expectations for their learning potential. Our school and our teaching are focused on addressing learning differences. Before coming to our school, children often show frustration when reading or decoding words, comprehending what was read, solving math problems, trying to keep up with classwork/homework, taking notes, staying organized, working independently, and attention to directions.
Our school is not suited for individuals whose difficulties are primarily due to behavioral or emotional concerns; however, some behavioral issues or anxiety stem from the frustrations of trying to manage a learning difference within a classroom environment that was not designed to meet their needs.