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The LDA Podcast

Author: LDA America

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Are you a parent or teacher of a child with a learning disability? Do you have a learning disability yourself? Do you work to support individuals who do? You are not alone. This weekly podcast series from Learning Disabilities Association of America shares cutting edge information, practical solutions, and useful tips to empower individuals with learning disabilities to thrive and fully participate in today’s society.
25 Episodes
LDA's Healthy Children Project Director Tracy Gregoire sits down with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Director Liz Hitchcock to discuss the work that both organizations have done to push corporations to remove toxic chemicals from their products. This episode dives into why LDA fights to prevent toxic chemical exposures, what 'forever chemicals' linger in our food packaging, how campaigns of parents have made a difference in removing toxics, and how you can get involved. 
After struggling in school for all her life, at age 19, Patty Gillespie taught herself to read. With five learning disabilities, Gillespie was unable to thrive in the classroom, and had to find learning strategies that worked for her. These solutions would serve her in the future as she went on to become a reading specialist and educator, and her own life experience would give her empathy and a connection with her students. Listen to hear Gillespie's story, learn what tips she gives to those helping struggling readers, and hear her advice to students with learning disabilities. 
In this episode, LDA President Monica McHale-Small sits with special educator Dr. Lauren McClenney-Rosenstein to discuss the misidentification of learning disabilities in students of color, the intersection of environmental justice and disproportionality, the challenges that low income communities and communities of color face in getting the right support in education, and more. 
Carolyn Phillips, an expert in assistive technology, believes that her learning disabilities are "kind of a superpower." Beth McGaw, past president of LDA, says her son's struggles have made him resilient and stronger. Scientist Collin Diedrich explains how thinking differently can benefit his work. In this last episode of our LD Month mini-series, we celebrate the strengths within individuals with learning disabilities, and explore the silver lining of living with LD. 
Which type of policymaker should you reach out to when advocating for individuals with learning disabilities? What's the best format to use when contacting a representative? When should you get the press involved? PA State Representative Dan Miller and LDA advocates Bev Johns and Daphne Uliana answer these questions and more, while dishing out their best advocacy advice. This podcast features the highlights of our September webinar Advocacy: Building Relationships with Policymakers. This podcast is a part of our mini series for Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Learn more at 
In this episode of our Learning Disabilities Awareness Month Mini-Series, we talk to Dr. Vincent C. Alfonso, a Professor in the School of Education at Gonzaga University and member of the LDA Board of Directors, about science based practices and interventions in education. Dr. Alfonso discusses some common interventions for students with learning disabilities, how to address the science to practice gap, and gives recommendations on how to help students with LD during the pandemic. What Works Clearinghouse, which Dr. Alfonso mentioned in the podcast, can be visited at: visit LDA's COVID resources for students, parents, and educators, visit: more resources on learning disabilities, visit 
Taking arsenic out of baby food seems like a no-brainer. But Tracy Gregoire, director of LDA's Healthy Children Project, explains how long these changes can take. Tune in to hear about Healthy Children Project's past victories, current campaigns, and how they work to make the world a safer, healthier place. For more information from LDA, visit: visit the Healthy Children Project website, go to:
"With 80% confidence, you can predict in third grade where a kid's going to be in 10th."Mark Halpert of 3D Learner talks to us about the importance of identifying struggling students early and supporting them to get them on grade level by third grade. This episode marks the end of our first season. Stay tuned for information on our next season, which is already in the works!For more information, visit:
Caroline McGuire,  the director of ADD Coach Academy and author of Why Will No One Play With Me, talks to us about the 7 aspects of socializing that students need to know, and how to teach these life skills. For more resources from LDA, visit 
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which refers to a range of characteristics that are caused by a fetus’s exposure to alcohol, affects between 2-5% of 1st graders in the U.S. today. Lyn McMurry and Julia Rivera from the North Texas FASD Network, a support group for those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, define the characteristics of FASD, talk to us about the connection between learning disabilities and FASD, and provide resources and advice. For more resources from the North Texas FASD Network, visit: more resources from LDA, visit
“Every day is built up of thousands of interactions, so the way that we communicate makes a big difference.”Dr. Helene Dionne, the Director of Counseling Services at Landmark School, and Laura Polvinen, a licensed social worker and counseling team leader at Landmark School, discuss different strategies for parents and teachers for addressing behavioral issues and social emotional challenges for students with language-based learning disabilities. For more resources from LDA, visit:
Educator of the Year

Educator of the Year


“I always take on a new challenge every year to learn something new. Whether it be personal or professional, and do things that are out of my comfort zone. It helps me then to appreciate what struggles or challenges that the students that I have have to face when I’m asking them to do things.” What does it take to be named Educator of the Year? Patricia Buckley has been teaching special education for over 40 years, and shares with us the important lessons she’s learned along the way, like how she always keeps learning, and how to avoid teacher burnout. For more resources from LDA, visit 
In this episode, we talk to Tracy Gregoire, the coordinator of LDA’s Healthy Children Project, about how to find school supplies that are free of harmful chemicals, why these products can be difficult to find, what safer cleaning supplies schools should be considering, and more!For more from the Healthy Children Project, visit: more resources from LDA, visit:
Anxiety in children has long been on the rise, and currently 1 in 4 children in classrooms have anxiety. Dr. Beverly Johns, author, learning and behavior consultant, and current president-elect of LDA Illinois shares some strategies for parents and teachers for helping children with anxiety. For more resources from LDA, visit
Sharona Sommer, the Director of Learning for the College Internship Program National (CIP) and certified professional coach, shares some tips and resources for success with executive function. CIP offers post-secondary programs for those with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences, to help individuals with the transition into adulthood. For more about CIP, visit: more resources from LDA, vist:
Dyslexia has long been one of the most well-known learning disabilities, and as such, there are many more resources for testing and assistance. Dyscalculia, which interferes with an individual’s calculation skills and their ability to comprehend math facts, is a learning disability that can often be overlooked in schools. Dr. Anneke Schreuder, the founder of Math and Dyscalculia Services, talks to us about different ways to test for dyscalculia, the importance of detecting dyscalculia early, and more. For resources from Math and Dyscalculia Services, visit: more resources from LDA, visit:
Chris Zeigler Dendy and Dr. Ruth Hughes, aside from being school and clinical psychologists, are also mothers of adult sons with ADHD. The two share their own personal experience in supporting their children through adulthood, and offer advice on topics like considering a gap year between high school and further education, how to guide your child into finding a career that they’re interested in, how to pick a college or other post-high school experience, and more. *Ready or Not! Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD! is expected to be released in Fall of 2020.*For more resources from LDA, visit:
In this episode, we talk to Tracy Gregoire, the coordinator of LDA’s Healthy Children Project. The mission of the Healthy Children Project is to prevent or eliminate the preventable causes of learning and developmental disabilities. While talking to Tracy, we learn about the dangers of toxic chemical exposure, different resources to find safe products, and how to advocate for companies to use safer alternatives in their products. For more resources from the Healthy Children Project, visit: more resources from LDA, visit:
Today, LDA’s Education Committee Chair Kristina Scott Quinlan interviews author and literacy consultant Katie Garner about teaching strategies for new or struggling readers. Garner tells us that the social and emotional parts of the brain are the first to develop, and teaches how to take advantage of these already-built highways and connections to teach reading and writing skills. For more resources from LDA, visit
"There's no ceiling to what we can do." Toby Baker’s educational experience was far from easy. She has self identified as having ADHD and a learning disability, and she frequently moved around to different schools throughout K-12. When it came time to go to college, her teachers and advisors tried to dissuade her, but she went anyway.  Now she talks to us about her dissertation about the perception and success of post-secondary students with LD, and the importance of self advocating to get the resources you need to succeed.  For more resources from LDA America, visit
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