Learning disabilities are complicated, but helping isn’t. Simple compensatory strategies can make all the difference in the world, as can technology, practice, empathy, patience, and understanding. Central to ALL of these methods is self-knowledge: if you understand your LDs and your strengths, you can ask for effective assistance, explain yourself, and help others understand your needs.

Compensatory strategies are simply ways to use your strengths – we all have them – to compensate for your weaknesses (we all have them!). If, for example, you have trouble interpreting spoken language, you may ask a teacher if there are materials you could read in preparation for a lecture, or instead of the lecture. If reading takes so much energy that you don’t learn well while you read, you could listen to the audio book, or do an exam out loud.

There are possible compensations for any sort of LDs, because all people with LDs have strengths as well. Some compensations may require some imagination, and many will require the understanding of others; but most people respond well to clear requests for assistance.

Practice: Some LDs may make certain areas of learning extremely difficult, but generally, weaknesses can be addressed to some degree through exercise. In addition to anything else you do to compensate for and address your learning difficulties, practice what you find difficult.

Technology: There are some fantastically helpful technologies available, ranging from free to expensive. Screen-Readers will read internet pages and documents out loud. Voice-recognition software can type what you speak. Select this link  to read more about Assistive Technology and for specific articles on technology go to www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/ldsadhs-in-depth/articles/about-technology/