Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are learning disabilities?

    Learning disabilities (LDs) are a group of varying disorders that have a negative impact on learning. They may affect one’s ability to speak, listen, think, read, write, spell or compute. LDs affect one or more of the ways that a person takes in, stores, or uses information. LDs come in many forms and affect people with varying levels of severity. The most prevalent LD is in the area of reading, known as dyslexia.

  • What are common characteristics of a learning disability?

    Pre-school Years

    • Trouble nursing, sucking, digesting
    • Delays in sitting, standing, walking
    • Delayed language
    • Overly active; early walking, running
    • Lack of or excessive response to sound or other stimuli
    • Difficulty following directions or learning routines

    School Years

    • Difficulty with reading, writing, spelling or mathematics
    • Difficulty expressing ideas
    • Reads but does not comprehend
    • Poor social skills, few friends
    • Cannot foresee consequences
    • Left-right confusion
    • Impulsivity
    • Difficulty with abstract thinking
    • Poor gross or fine motor coordination
    • Reversals in numbers and letters
    • Difficulty following directions
    • Memory and attention problems
  • What are common types of learning disabilities?
    Dyslexia Difficulty Reading Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking
    Dyscalculia Difficulty with math Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money
    Dysgraphia Difficulty with writing Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas
    Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder) Difficulty with fine motor skills Problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity
    Dysphasia/Aphasia Difficulty with language Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension
    Auditory Processing Disorder Difficulty hearing differences between sounds Problems with reading, comprehension, language
    Visual Processing Disorder Difficulty interpreting visual information Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures
  • Can a learning disability be “outgrown”?

    LDs are a life-long condition – they do not go away – but can be coped with successfully by using areas of strength to compensate and accommodations such as technology.

  • What programs are available at the LDANR?

    The LDANR’s programs are designed to support children, youth and adults who are struggling with a learning disability; however, the individual does not need to be formally diagnosed with a learning disability to participate in these programs. The LDANR recognizes that a formal diagnosis is not something all individuals/families can have done and, therefore, we welcome children, youth and adults who are struggling in their academic and social life due to an identified or non-identified learning disability. The Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region currently offers multiple programs: Reading Rock, Reading Rocks Junior, Let’s R.E.A.D., B.E.S.T., and S.L.A.M. for children and youth who have  learning disabilities/ADHD and are in need of support.

    H.O.P.E. is a support group for parents and/or guardians of children with ADHD. This program, adopted from Niagara Region’s Public Health sector is designed to provide families with a place to share ideas and strategies for coping with the challenges of ADHD.

    Click here for more information on available programs.

  • How do I apply for a program?

    If you feel that your child can benefit from one of our programs, please fill out an application form found on the Programs page, and submit supporting documents via fax, email or in person. You may want to call and speak with a program coordinator prior to completing an application form. The program coordinator can provide you with useful information regarding programs and whether they would likely meet your child’s needs in regards to their learning disability.

    **Please note applicants will be screened for other exceptionalities (i.e. autism, down syndrome, FAS, developmental delays, etc.) as the LDANR’s mandate is to offer programs and services for those with learning disabilities. The LDANR’s programs are not designed to treat students with severe mental health or students with severe emotional and behavioural issues. B.E.S.T. and S.L.A.M. programs are not behavioural programs, but rather programs to support children with learning disabilities through LD awareness, self-advocacy, building self-esteem and developing social skills.
    All participants must have the ability to behave in a small group setting.

    For parents wishing to participate in the support programs, please contact the office at 905-641-1021 or email info@Ldaniagara.org

  • What supporting documents do I need for my child’s application?

    Following the online application form, you are required to submit supporting documents to complete your application. These supporting documents may include and are not limited to: the child’s most recent report card, a copy of the child’s IEP, and/or assessments and diagnoses. Only documents in English can be accepted.

  • What happens after I complete the application and submit all the required documents?

    A screening takes place once your complete application has been received. If your child has been accepted, you will be notified of details including the time, location, program fee, etc. a week or two prior to the start of the program.

  • What happens if I cannot afford to become a member and access LDANR programs?

    It remains important to LDANR that any child with a learning disability that would benefit from a LDANR program can access the program regardless of their families situation. LDANR staff work closely with families on a case-by-case basis to ensure there are no barriers for a child with a learning disability in accessing programs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us 905-641-1021 or info@Ldaniagara.org if you think we can help!

Our Mission

Our purpose is to provide resources and support to individuals who are affected by learning disabilities within the Niagara Region. We provide leadership in learning disabilities advocacy, research, education and services, and advance the full participation in society of children, youth and adults with learning differences.

Get In Touch

Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region
366 St. Paul Street,
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 3N2

Phone: (905) 641-1021
Fax: (905) 641-2336