LDA Newsletter

Newsletter – December 2018


The LDA Leader Student Issue provides an opportunity for students to share their experiences about how they were able to overcome their learning disabilities–and how St. Louis LDA helped them learn, develop & achieve in their own unique way.

If your child/student is interested in contributing to the June 2019 Student Issue contact socialmedia@ldastl.org.

Here is what’s in this month’s LDA Leader:

  • Never Give Up, by Evnika Oleynik
  • Success with Self-Advocacy
  • Upcoming Dates to Remember
  • Inclement Weather Policy

Never Give Up

By: Evnika Oleynik

Growing up, I always wondered, why was I so academically behind all of my friends and classmates? I wondered why I had such a hard time reading, and no matter how hard I tried it just never got any easier. I was told that I was lazy and didn’t try hard enough, but I knew that wasn’t the case.

My family moved around a lot, which caused me to switch schools often. I can’t blame the schools for not being able to figure out my problem. I believe in third grade I was placed in Special Education to help me with my reading problem. I was in public school up until sixth grade, which is when I began to be homeschooled. I never liked it. In fact, I hated it for one reason only—I couldn’t read.So my mom put my little sister and me into the same grade so that it would be easier on her to grade us. My sister and I helped each other out all through high school. She would help me with my reading and I would help her with math. It was hard, but we made it work. My sister was always there to help me understand our school work, because she knew that I did as best as I could when it came to reading. I am forever grateful to her.

Once homeschooling was complete, I had to get my GED; I chose Jefferson Community College and joined their Adult Education & Literacy Program (AEL). The AEL program assists people in preparing for the GED exam. It took me two years to complete the AEL program, but I could not have done it without my best friend who also happens to be my high school sweetheart. He was there every single night helping me study for my GED. He would come help me after he had a long day at high school and work, and he would help me study for hours. He is amazing and truly wonderful, I can’t thank him enough.

Once I received my GED, I started classes at St. Louis Community College and was struggling. In one semester I failed all my classes. After that particular semester, I was really scared to go back to college but, I still did! The only reason I had enough strength to go back was because of my awesome support team. It’s to be expected from my loved ones, but I did not expect it from the team at St. Louis LDA. My tutor from St. Louis LDA gave me so much strength in many ways. For example, when I needed help in a class, my tutor was always there to help me understand and retain knowledge on that subject. She also always tells me to use my strengths to work through problems and she always asks me how my grades are just to keep me on my toes. My tutor gave me the tools that I need in order to succeed in my education and everyday reading. I also use other tools to help me be successful in college. I use technology supports such as Google Translate (which allows me to listen to text) and a smartpen (which records my class notes). With these helpful tools, I am able to comprehend the material more accurately, which I have learned is strength of mine.

Currently, I’m twenty years old and still attending college. My grades are the best I’ve ever had, and so is my ability to read and understand all the information that I am learning. I am amazed at how much I can actually read on my own now and also very grateful to St. Louis LDA for being there for me, never giving up on me, and not letting me give up on myself. The greatest lesson that I have learned this past year is to never give up and always ask for help when needed.

Support St. Louis LDA’s 2018 Year End Appeal

Success with Self-Advocacy

By Autumn Bemis, Educational Consultant

Every summer, St. Louis LDA offers a study skills class for middle school students which includes self-knowledge and self-advocacy, with a strong emphasis on study strategies. One student, who participated in the group class, came back the following summer for a one-on-one refresher class. During the group class, the instructors had recognized a level of anxiety that manifested itself in lack of focus and off-topic comments during instruction. An effort was made to help relieve the student’s anxiety and an emotional connection was made between the student and instructors. This student was able to engage in class activities; he added positive energy to the class. However, we were unsure how much of the course content he might retain and/or implement during his school year. Upon his return the following summer, to our delight, this student demonstrated retention of study strategies. In addition, and most gratifying for us, he was implementing self-advocacy strategies. During the school year, he made an appointment with his teacher, articulated his needs and respectfully asked for accommodations he knew would help him.
If your child is frustrated or anxious about their school work, St. Louis LDA’s learning specialists can help! Our Personalized Tutoring program allows students to build a relationship one-on-one with their tutor over time, which helps them build confidence and self-advocacy after consistent participation. To find out more, visit www.ldastl.org or contact us at 314-966-3088 or info@ldastl.org.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

The St. Louis LDA office will be closed beginning Friday, December 21, 2018 and will reopen on Thursday, January 3, 2019for the holidays. If your child will miss any additional days due to a family trip, school closure, school activities, etc., please notify the St. Louis LDA office in advance so that the tutor may be notified and changes can be made to the schedule. Failure to give advance notice will may result in a charge for the session.

Inclement Weather Policy

We have teamed up with Fox 2’s School Closing system, News Channel 5’s Stormwatch and Channel 4’s Warn Weather to offer your family three viewing options for office closures. If we close the office due to the weather, these three stations will list that St. Louis LDA is closed on various newscasts. It will also be listed on their respective websites: www.fox2now.com, www.ksdk.com and www.kmov.com. In the event of a large number of closures, business listings are often bumped from the newscast in favor of schools. If you do not see our listing, please check the listed websites or call the St. Louis LDA office at 314-966-3088.
In addition, we will be updating our Facebook profile, which can be accessed through the link on our website www.ldastl.org. Make sure you add us as a friend to receive the most up to date status updates for office closings and upcoming events.
Hopefully with all of these steps in place, you will be well informed in the event that the office will need to be closed due to weather. If you have any questions about this policy or would like to update your preferences, please contact the office at 314-966-3088.

Upcoming Events

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