Learning Disabled vs Learning Impaired

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Just keep swimming, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    Hi family,

    We have had Aly's initial IEP at her new school but her Gen Ed teacher was not there so they had to reschedule to yesterday. Yesterday morning, they called to say Reg Ed teacher was out again and they would call back to r/s AGAIN! Frustrating to the extreme!

    At the first IEP wording in her IEP stated Aly was "Learning Impaired" not Learning Disabled as her previous IEP's were. What is the difference? Is there any?

    They tested her out at 1st grade for math, K-1st grade in reading, 2nd grade in Social Studies and Science and Pre-K in Social Skills. She is in the 5th grade! They were supposed to come up with a better placement and we were to discuss it at this next IEP that keeps getting cancelled.

    On the one hand, I am heart broken that she is soooo behind. On the other, I am so glad they are addressing her issues and trying to make positive improvements, especially in Social/Living skills. They asked if we wanted to focus on Living Skills for math and reading as she is so obviously impaired. If I am understanding correctly, they feel she won't be able to ever catch up enough to "graduate" with her "normal" classmates and will most likely need to go the GED route.

    Talk about breaking a mother's heart! I wanted her to do the grad walk with her same age peers, she deserves that. She is trying so hard.

    The good news is that next year she moves onto middle school where they have a SDC 6th class that is for kiddos just like her. Supposedly a great situation, I plan to go observe sometime in the near future.

    Anyways, just wondering if Learning Disabled and Learning Impaired is just 2 ways of basically saying the same thing?

  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Vickie---Here all Special Education students can choose whether to go the certificate or diploma route. Either way they graduate with their classes---they don't get a diploma from the state, but they do get to "graduate" They can then move on to adult ed. Often these students are vocational training completers and go directly into the work force. Write in her IEP that she will march with her class at graduation if she "completes" her course work.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Did you put this in Special Education, too? I would PM Sheila or Martie with this question if I were you.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I don't have a clue. I will continue to read this with-interest.
    Our son was/is considered Learning Disability (LD) but not permanently so ... he is improving but very, very slowly. I'm not sure there are names for all these things.
    Sorry I couldn't be of help.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    My son graduated with his class. It was one of the most powerful moments for my husband and I in raising him.
    He had, at the time, moved from 2nd grade math skills to 4th grade math skills. He still struggles a great deal with money, time and quantities.
    He graduated from an IEP. Basically he had enough credits to graduate. You can keep a special needs child in the school system until 21. (not necessarily in high school). We knew that if he ever got his act together to go to college that he would have to make up class work via cc or adult education. It's not really a concern yet despite being pretty bright.
    I can't imagine she wouldn't be able to walk the graduation walk with a cap and gown.
  6. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    Fran - did your son stay in school until he was 21 and what kind of curriculum did he have? Did your district ask you to choose between academics or a combination academic/tech program? My son is in 8th grade and doing 4-5th grade math. I don't expect he'll progress much farther. We'll be doing transition planning soon. I have no idea what to expect and I'm afraid to make a mistake. How did you decide what kind of future to aim for? Sorry for all the questions. I've been researching all day about this exact thing. Thanks.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is she in regular Learning Disability (LD) or in an actual Special Education environment. My son is actually in Special Education, but my daughter is Learning Disability (LD) and being mainstreamed. My son is also incapable of doing work without an aide to help him, but my daughter can and is very self-sufficient. in my opinion it really doesn't make that much difference as long as she finishes high school. If she needs help as an adult, there is a lot of help and she can still be productive and happy.
    My big problem is why they won't let her walk across the stage with her peers. At my son's school, the Special Education kids get Honors Day and graduation with their "typical" peers. If my son gets A's and B's, even though he has a modified program, he still gets the same accolades of kids who don't and his name appears on the honor roll. I'd ask the school about this.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm a teacher and I have to say I've not heard the term Learning Impaired. I would think she would be able to graduate with her class. Hugs.
  9. Jessica mom of 2

    Jessica mom of 2 New Member

    I have a daughter which that is 7 and has IEP, she is considered "other health impaired." I know that a "learning disability" is when children are disabled or they have a condition which effects there learning. Other health impaired is for children with a diagnosis such as ADHD, ADD, ODD, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), anxiety etc and it has effects on there learning but they are still very capable of learning.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    Hi everyone,

    A little more info:

    Aly is Main Streamed 5th grade for about 1/4 of her day, mostly PE, art, music, that sort of thing. All core academics are within a Resource classroom setting with kids that are also learning disabled/impaired.

    As far as the "other health impaired" Aly has those as well with her Epilepsy, thyroid issues and urinary issues. But, my question was why they would change her main reason for Special Education from Learning Disabled to Learning Impaired. Do they think that she is impaired due to her health issues or her medications or her mental illness???? I still do not have a date for the new IEP, but should be in the next few weeks.

    I guess I am just hoping that they are not "giving up" on Aly and thinking she is not capable of learning any more than she already knows. Yes, her learning is alot slower than her same age peers, but she is capable of continuing to learn, in my humble opinion.

    The other issue we are seeing is that she has developed another "personality" at school. Her name is "J" at school (her middle name) and she insists at times to be called that. It freaked the resource teacher out, mental health came to school and evaluated her during that episode and reported to me that he is not sure it is a disassociative state, but could be. Also thinks it might just be her coping mechanism when she is overwhelmed. But it is a huge red flag as she has done this before when she was Sally instead of Aly when she did "bad" things. I will try to air on the side of wait and see and not panic. Although yesterday she had a rough day and had to have her ER medication and go to bed early. Just really scattered and a bit manic.

    Anyways, I will be pushing for her to be able to graduate with her same age peers, if that is the right course for her.

    Thanks for all the replies!

  11. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My dyslexic son is considered learning disabled. My other son with expressive writing disorder is considered learning impaired in English but is in honors math and science. The Learning Disability (LD) child is in a private school, the other is in mainstream gen ed at our local middle school.

    For the life of me, the only thing I can figure out is that one boy's situation (dyslexia) is something he was born with and the other boy's is considered reactive (to the fact that he had almost no hearing as a child and was behind in speech, etc) and not inborn. I think the thought is that if you can get past all the stuff that "impairs" him, he would have no Learning Disability (LD), whereas with the other one, you can remediate all you want, but he will always be dyslexic.

    I don't know, this is just how I manage to fool myself.
  12. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    The girls are once again twins. Sabrina is on the same levels as Aly. :crying: I'm about to post about the meeting I had today. My heart is breaking too. I know how you feel.

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would ring your state board of education and ask them if someone there can define the terms for you, and what the implications of those definitions are, in terms of an IEP.

    The strict medical definition is often a different thing, education boards can have their own definitions in order to get all their Special Education paperwork on the same even keel. But I would make sure it's not a 'softer' term which they could then subsequently use to wriggle out of responsibility.

    Whatever WE tell you the two terms mean, or even a medical or education expert, may not be what your state board of education has defined those terms to mean.