This Thanksgiving has special meaning for Emmy Award-winning actor, producer, and author Marlo Thomas. It’s the 50th anniversary of her family’s fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tenn.
St. Jude began as the dream of Marlo’s father, the late, great funnyman Danny Thomas, in 1957 and has been going strong ever since. Since his death in 1991, Marlo, along with her sister, Terre, and brother, Tony, has been at the forefront of the center’s fundraising.
Learning disabilities have nothing to do with how smart a person is. Rather, a person with a learning disability may just see, hear, or understand things differently. That can make everyday tasks, such as studying for a test or staying focused in class, much more difficult. There are strategies a person can learn to make it easier to cope with these differences.
Types of Learning Disabilities
There are many different kinds of learning disabilities, and they can affect people differently. It's important to note that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism are not the same as learning disabilities.
The main types of learning disorders include:
Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia affects a person's motor skills. Motor skills help us with movement and coordination. A young child with dyspraxia may bump into things or have trouble holding a spoon or tying his shoelaces. Later, he may struggle with things like writing and typing. Other problems associated with dyspraxia include:
Dyslexia. Dyslexia affects how a person processes language, and it can make reading and writing difficult. It can also cause problems with grammar and reading comprehension. Children may also have trouble expressing themselves verbally and putting together thoughts during conversation.
Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia affects a person's writing abilities. People with dysgraphia may have a variety of problems, including:
Trouble with spelling
Difficulty putting thoughts down on paper
Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia affects a person's ability to do math. Math disorders can take many forms and have different symptoms from person to person. In young children, dyscalculia may affect learning to count and recognize numbers. As a child gets older, he or she may have trouble solving basic math problems or memorizing things like multiplication tables.