Imagine being the only person in a room of twenty-five with a condition that everyone feared and no one understood.

Welcome to the daily life of a student with a learning disability. In every classroom in every city, there is a student with a learning disability. That’s a remarkable thing when you actually think about it. The student lives in the shadows for a variety of reasons. He may have never been diagnosed, due to the massive backlog in the public system (certainly in places such as here in Toronto where it might take two years of more for a student to even be tested for a learning disability). She is in a classroom with a teacher who has never had training about how to work with students with learning disabilities. Students with LDs are surrounded by other students who don’t share their condition, who haven’t had the experience or education to understand it and who might isolate them for being different.

This is the bleak, daily reality of a student with a learning disability. We’ve seen and heard this reality through stories our own students have conveyed to us when coming to The Academy. It’s amazing how students with learning disabilities open up when they arrive here, usually their first-ever safe haven in the system of schools that has equally been frustrated with them as students, and has frustrated them as learners.

“…Now at The Academy, everyone fits in.

No one is different from everybody.

Everybody gets the same thing.”

Joseph K, Academy student

Now turn this model upside-down and imagine being one of an entire classroom of students with learning disabilities. And imagine having all of the support you need, every day: from highly-trained teachers to counseling support, to an educational program that not only empowers you, but prepares you for success in life where you’ve experienced only failure in school before. That’s exactly what The Academy is.

We help families make informed decisions about their child’s future. We help students become all they and their parents had hoped they could be. Give us a call, come to the school for a visit, and let us show you how our program works for families. Have a look at our school video for a quick overview of how we affect students’ lives – https://www.ymcaacademy.org/?page_id=3126

Don Adams, Head of School

Jul 30th, 2012 – Turn it Upside-Down