Stigma and LD

With the explosion of information and resources available to families today via books and online, I see this as the best time to discover that your child has a learning disability.
The overhanging stigma that lingered through my generation and further back is aggressively being kicked to the curb. People are talking, sharing and making available solutions and changes to the way that our children are learning and are entitled to be taught.
Some of icukids.com favorite go to’s are UNDERSTOOD.org. Free sign up to join this interactive informational site that is backed by the most highly regarded professionals in the LD community. They have lectures and videos that are so state of the art and engaging.
Another wonderful site is smartkidswithld.org. They also have a very impressive board of directors and Editor who’s mission it is to support families in every way via information to help them guide through the LD Journey for their family. They also have an annual benefit that presents a Fred J. Epstein, Youth Achievement Award. Nominations are submitted every year by parents, educators, coaches of outstanding achievements by these unconventional learners.
What is so empowering is that every year with this new generation and the information that is at their fingertips, they are also breaking down those barriers by sharing their award winning stories into their communities and beyond, it is simply powerful. It’s one brick at a time!
And last, ldaamerica.org, is absolutely fantastic, they have an extensive easy breakdown of all the learning disabilities, and there are many! The more you learn and understand the deficiencies your child needs to manage, the more successful the outcome will be.
If you have a favorite resource site send it to us and we will share it on facebook. Below are the links for ours:

 

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An Extraordinary Man

Dr. Fred Epstein, an Extraordinary Man, That Had an Extraordinary Life

An understanding of how our children are not different, but extraordinarily special, is the blessing to all of us. As the many public people with learning disabilities come to light, the stories of their amazing achievements are nothing short of inspirational.

I learned of an amazing example of that right in my own back yard, a local resident by the name of Dr. Fred Epstein. But due to his untimely death in July 2006 at the age of 68, in Greenwich, CT, I would never have the opportunity to meet him. His popularity, television appearances, newspaper articles, books, lectures and public testimonies of his work, make it very clear, Dr. Epstein was an extraordinary man, that had an extraordinary life.

Dr. Epstein was a boy, who suffered what he later understood as learning disabilities, he understood this for the first time during his career as a neurosurgeon.

At a school meeting he attended with his wife for one of their children, the school said that their child was fine, everything was great but...they had what is called, learning disabilities. This moment was Dr. Epstein's aha moment. This was what he struggled with his whole life... and never knew what it was, fortunate for him and his wife Kathy, they were able to start an educational journey of support and guidance for their child, while Fred would reflect on his

He recalled as a child, that he read slowly, had trouble making sense of numbers and wrote the letter “e” backward. He was even told that he could not go to medical school and that he could not be a doctor...wow, did Dr. Epstein prove them wrong, in a big way.

Dr. Epstein would even joke, after the learning the disability revelation, that it may not be best for him to go around discussing his educational challenges he struggled with as a boy, especially due to the fact that he was now a Neurosurgeon. It may not be good for business...who would hire a Neurosurgeon with learning disabilities...he would joke, his wife Kathy would say...

He struggled to get through college just to get into medical school, but never gave up. He had to study many more hours than other students, and he did. Dr. Epstein graduated from New York University and New York Medical College. He did his internship and surgical residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and did his residency at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, while serving in the Army reserves.

Then, in the late 1970's, Dr. Epstein developed a technique to remove inoperable tumors at the top of the spine and bottom of the brain stem in children. Before the development of Dr. Epstein's unique technique, these patients died. Here it is the late 1970's and this young man from Westchester, NY, who never knew for most of his life that he had learning disabilities, figured out an incredible way to save children's lives.

Dr. Epstein went on to share his surgical techniques with other doctors. He would share the analogy that " it is like removing lead from a pencil, the pencil being the spinal cord". In 1983, he was named professor of neurosurgery at New York University and two years later director of the division of pediatric neurosurgery.

He also believed if he did not have a learning disability, that possibly he would have never discovered this life saving surgery that he performed on children, that so many Neurosurgeons use today. Call it serendipity, their lives and their families, forever changed by this amazing man. The inspirational and unconventional Dr. Fred Epstein, will be remembered and lives on through his story being shared, one family at a time.

"What I say to children with learning disabilities is: We’re like anybody else in terms of intelligence. But we’re wired differently, if we were in the majority, we’d be trying to figure out how to teach them!" FRED J. EPSTEIN, MD 1937-2006

Internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Pioneering physician, researcher, teacher, administrator Epstein was well-known for an unconventional approach to his work that led to breakthroughs in the treatment of spinal tumors. He had an exuberant personality, a mellow voice and an expressive face with a high forehead topped by an unruly shock of white hair. The nameplate on his office door read, simply, "Fred."- BOB BROWN, ABC News

Dr. Fred Epstein's several books are available under the ICUKids.com /Book Nook

The Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award is presented at the Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities annual Spring benefit. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is a non profit focused on helping parents help their children succeed. They offer learning disability resources for parents and teachers with their free news letters and informational website.

For more information: "http://www.smartkidswithld.org/award

Research credits:The Epstein Family, ABC News, Spinalcordtumor.org and Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities lecture of Dr. Fred Epstein and Wikipedia

 

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STEM Programs and LD Kids

For kids with LD, you may be surprised to learn that coding can come very easy to them.

With the simple programs that provide basic skills and knowledge it also helps build a unique sense of confidence that helps them stay motivated and continue to higher levels of computer coding.

Andrew Moore, the Dean of Carnegie Mellon believes that if the child has a keen sense of interest in science and or computers, that they should start coding at a very young age, and he is determined to help that process as a goal he has set for himself.

Here in the United States we are behind with educating our students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The only way this generation will stay up to speed, including girls is no matter their learning style, learn to code.

Doors will open, and education opportunities will develop with this basic training, if nurtured.

Elementary schools now are bringing in coding teaching professionals, like The Happy Code Club that serves Fairfield County and Westchester in the Tri State.

Giving your child an opportunity to succeed before they fail can produce self esteem and friends with the same interest. It's a win-win.

You can go to happycodeclub.com to see their winter programs.

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Famous and Successful People With LD and or ADHD

Actor- Orlando Bloom~Champion Swimmer- Michael Phelps~  Actor- Daniel Radcliff~Producer, writer, actress- Whoopi Goldberg~Legendary Filmmaker- Steven Spielberg~Singer, Songwriter, actor- Justin Timberlake~Internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Pioneering physician, researcher, teacher, administrator, was well-known for an unconventional approach to his work that led to breakthroughs in the treatment of spinal tumors- Dr. Fred Epstein~Celebrity Chef- Jamie Oliver~Actor- Keanu Reeves~Businessman- Charles Schwab~Businessman- Paul Orfalea~Comedian- Jay Leno~Actor- Vince vaughn~Journalist, Author, NBC New's Chief Foreign Correspondent- Richard Engel~Actor, Author- Henry Winkler~Football Star- Tim Tebow~Journalist- Anderson Cooper~Comedian- Howie Mandel~Singer, Actress- Cher~Entrepreneur- Richard Branson~Businessman- David Neeleman~Designer- Tommy Hilfiger~Artist, Poet, Writer- Hans Christian Andersen~World Champion Boxer- Mohomed Ali~Inventor- Thomas Edison~Actor- Robin Williams~Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and elected unanimously as the first President of the United States of America- George Washington~Authoring the Declaration of Independence, becoming the 3rd President of the United States of America, and founding the University of Virginia- Thomas Jefferson~President of Princeton University, 28th President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize in 1919- Woodrow Wilson~A five-star general, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, President of Columbia University, and 34th President of the United States-Dwight D. Eisenhower aka "Ike"~Attended Harvard, served in the Navy during World War II, awarded the Purple Heart and the World War II Victory Medal, Served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before becoming the 35th President of the United States in 1960- John F. Kennedy~Actress-Keira Knightley~Actress- Selma Hayek~Writer, Director, Actor-Billy Bob Thorton~Activist-Erin Brockovich~Olympic athlete in the arena of track and field and reality star- Caitlyn Jenner~CEO Apple- Steve Jobs~Basketball Star- Magic Johnson~Composer-Ludwig van Beethoven~Composer/ Musician- John Lennon~ Composer/Musician- Bob Weir- Inventors, scientist, and writer- Leonardo da Vinci~Co-founder of Disney Productions and cartoonist-Walt Disney~A United States Army officer and  general during World War II-General George Patton~British Prime Minister, accomplished author, won the Nobel Prize in Literature- Winston Churchill~Painter, draughtsman, and sculptor- Pablo Picasso~Eminent scientist, inventor, engineer, and innovator- Alexander Graham Bell~Writer, Actor, Comedian, Showman-“For me, the toughest thing about dyslexia was spelling it.” - George Burns~Author-  Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald~Science fiction author-Terry Goodkind~Albert Einstein~An American politician, Governor of New York and the 41st Vice President of the United States of America-Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller~Baseball Legend- Babe Ruth~Inventor- Henry Ford~Actress, Producer, Director and Business Woman-Jennifer Aniston

 

 

 

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